A Wellingborough pervert who flashed his genitals at a group of children aged as young as five has been jailed.
Reece Mason, 20, of Nest Farm Crescent, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent exposure after the incident in Waterworks Lane on July 20.
Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court heard how Mason was walking down the narrow path, at the back of Redwell Primary School, when he passed a group of five children aged between five and nine who were playing.
He was a matter of yards from one girl when he exposed himself three times before casually walking away.
Mason was seen committing the lewd act on CCTV from a nearby house after the victim told her mum.
The next day, the furious mother was near Waterworks Lane when she spotted Mason and followed him.
Mason realised he was being followed and ran, but was restrained by a member of the public and arrested.
At first he claimed it was not him on the CCTV and gave ‘no comment’ answers, before pleading guilty when he appeared in court.
The court heard from victim impact statements that both the children and their parents had been traumatised by the incident, with the children wetting the bed and struggling to sleep and the parents afraid to let them play outside.
Mitigating, Nick de Freitas said Mason was on cannabis at the time of the incident and that he had suffered threats.
He said: “Since the incident his life has completely changed. He has suffered threats, had to move away from the area and remove himself from social media.
“He was on cannabis [at the time], something he started doing when he was 15.
“To put him in an environment with other sex offenders for a period of time could do him more harm than good.”
But chairman of the bench Neil Sheppard disagreed and sentenced Mason to 12 weeks in prison, reduced to eight weeks because of his guilty plea.
He must also sign the sex offenders register for a period of seven years.
Speaking outside court after sentencing, the families of the children affected – who cannot be named for legal reasons – said the ordeal had ‘taken away their innocence’.
In a joint statement, they said: “We’re happy and relieved that he has been made an example of and sent to prison.
“Most importantly justice has been done for all of the other parents out there with children who could have had the same thing happen.
“We caught him in the act on CCTV with clear footage and have been able to get him into court.
“This is going to stay with them for a long time. It’s taken away their innocence.
“The children are now acting out what he did. Children aged five to nine should not be doing that.
“They are wetting the bed and struggle to sleep properly.
“We feel very vulnerable and don’t let our children play outside. It’s an awful situation.”