March 2019

Preston Park flasher exposed himself to Brighton schoolgirls

A pervert who flashed at schoolgirls in a park has been ordered to complete unpaid work.

Edward Kent was dubbed the “Preston Park Flasher” after exposing himself to 38 girls, many of whom were walking home from school.

He admitted 16 counts of exposure and two more of engaging in a sex act in the presence of a child at Brighton Crown Court.

Victims, aged between 12 and 17, said they have been left feeling they can no longer walk anywhere alone.

Kent was stopped when a man chased after him when he was running away from a plain clothes police officer in January.

The officer had seen him approaching two schoolgirls and tried to stop him.

The 27-year-old has now been banned from entering parks in Brighton and Hove for the next five years.

He had been held in custody since January 17, and was sentenced on Friday last week.

The Judge put him under a curfew between 7pm and 6am for the next three months, and ordered him to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

He must also complete 30 sex offenders rehabilitation sessions.

Police issued an appeal in October last year with a picture of him as a suspect.

The offences ranged from November 1, 2016 to January 10, 2019.

Investigator Rose Horan 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.”