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Brighton Journal | June 25, 2019

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Preston Park flasher sentenced

Hannah Midgley

A man who exposed himself to more than thirty girls over the last two and a half years has finally been sentenced. All offences took place in and around Preston Park between July 2016 and January 2019.

38 girls, between the ages of 12 and 17 were targeted on their walk home from school, by 27 year old Edward Kent. He pleaded guilty to 16 counts of exposure after appearing at Brighton Magistrates Court for sentencing last Friday.

Kent has been sentenced to a community order. He is now on the sex offender register, is subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which bans him from entering parks for five years, is on a curfew between 7 pm and 6 am and has been ordered to complete a Sex Offender Treatment Program in addition to 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was arrested when police were conducting a plain clothes patrol in Preston Park, where he was observed approaching two school girls.

Investigator Rose Horan has said:

“All the girls involved are to be commended for their maturity, their help and their support. They reported what had happened to them quickly, either to police or their parents. They gave accurate, consistent accounts and descriptions, and some provided maps, sketches and photographic evidence, all of which was key to stopping this offender.

All in all, it was a real community effort, with the father of one of the schoolgirls intercepting Kent and helping to detain him on the day of his arrest as he was being pursued on foot by a plain-clothed officer.

Kent’s behaviour has had a marked impact, particularly on some of the younger girls, causing them to avoid the park, a place where children should feel safe. Some victims were approached by Kent while they walked alone and some were followed causing them to feel high levels of anxiety. I hope the sentence can help reassure these victims and they can begin to put this behind them.”

Original author Jenni Nuttall

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