Cycling flasher snared by police
A FLASHER was lured into a honeytrap by a female police officer set as bait, a court was told.Pc Claire Bennett was operating in plain clothes on a "stakeout" in Brandon after a spate of reports of a man exposing himself, when 24-year-old Mark Brooks fell into the trap.
A FLASHER was lured into a honeytrap by a female police officer set as bait, a court was told.
Pc Claire Bennett was operating in plain clothes on a "stakeout" in Brandon after a spate of reports of a man exposing himself, when 24-year-old Mark Brooks fell into the trap.
Brooks, formerly of Warren Close, Brandon, but now living in Gloucester Way, Thetford, was found guilty of indecent exposure by magistrates at Mildenhall yesterday.
He had pleaded not guilty to the offence and told magistrates: "It's not true, I didn't expose myself on that day or any other time in my life."
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The court heard how Brooks rode past Pc Bennett on his mountain bike in broad daylight on Rattlers Road, Brandon, with his genitals exposed, having pulled down his tracksuit bottoms as he rode along.
The court was told Pc Bennett shouted for him to stop, but he rode off, only to be intercepted by her colleague Pc Scott Moledinna , who was waiting nearby in an unmarked police car.
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The incident occurred at around 2.20pm on August 4 last year, when police had received a number of reports of a man fitting Brooks' description exposing himself to women in that part of Brandon.
Defending Brooks, David Cason said Pc Bennett was effectively "bait" set to trap the offender on what he labelled " a stakeout", and when she saw Brooks, he fitted the description and because of her inexperience and nervous state she mistook him for the suspect.
However, Pc Bennett said although it was her first such operation she was not nervous, nor was she mistaken and was sure of what she had seen.
The court was told that after the incident Pc Bennett radioed her colleague Pc Molledina, who followed Brooks in his car, eventually stopping him and arresting him.
Brooks said Pc Molledina had "rugby tacked him" from his bike and he had no idea he was a police officer, and had struggled to escape.
However, at an earlier hearing Brooks admitted assaulting the officer during his arrest, but said it was unintentional.
He had also admitted possessing a small amount of cannabis and a plastic "bong" to smoke it in, which had been found on him when he was arrested.
Magistrates took five minutes to consider their verdict before finding Brooks guilty, and adjourned the case for the compilation of pre-sentence reports, until April 14.
They told Brooks they were considering all options including tagging, and he was released on unconditional bail.