The court placed the man on probation to help with his rehabilitation.
The court placed the man on probation to help with his rehabilitation.

Penal code catches up with serial flasher

A SERIAL flasher has been sentenced to a suspended jail term and placed on probation to get help for "issues that need addressing".

Magistrate Robbie Davies noted Gatton man Bronson Errol Ridgway had a "long history" of exposing himself in public.

"Quite obviously you have issues that need addressing," Mr Davies told the 27-year-old who had spent 68 days in pre-sentence custody after his arrest for his latest offending.

Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard two women, aged 50 and 30 respectively, had left their workplace and were in the car park behind Target in Gatton on November 5 when they encountered Ridgway.

After approaching one of the women, he had exposed himself and started masturbating in front of her, the court heard.

Startled, the woman had said "What the f***?" prompting Ridgway to reply "Oh, sorry", and he moved away.

He had then approached the second woman and repeated his modus operandi, the court heard.

Neither of the women knew Ridgway and initially they had decided not to go to police but when he was later seen loitering around the same area, the women had reported him, the court heard.

A police patrol a week later had spotted the 27-year-old following a young woman walking on a Gatton footpath with headphones on and they had arrested him.

Initially denying he had committed the offences, Ridgway told police that he suffered from chafing and itching and on occasion had to air his penis, the court heard.

He appeared in custody to plead guilty to two counts of committing an indecent act with intent to insult or offend another person.

Ridgway had been on probation for similar offending at the time, the court was told.

His solicitor Joe McConnell of MacDonald Law told the court the two months his client had spent in pre-sentence custody had been a wake up call for him.

"It was extremely eye opening for him to say the least," he said.

Mr McConnell said his client had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was clearly in need of assistance and asked that his probation order be allowed to continue.

The court's mental health liaison officer told the court that Ridgway did not have a defence of unsoundness of mind but submitted his decision making process was impaired by his mental health issues.

Magistrate Davies noted the 68 days Ridgway had spent in custody and sentenced him to two months in jail but suspended the term in full to hang over his head for 12 months.

"If you do this kind of thing again you will face imprisonment," he told the defendant.

Mr Davies ordered the current probation order be allowed to continue.