Serial flasher admits public indecency

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By Paul Thornton

A SERIAL flasher has been slapped on the sex offenders register after he exposed himself to four women during three broad-daylight attacks.

Gary Stewart, 26,  pulled jumped out in front of a 19-year-old girl before pulling up his t-shirt to reveal his private parts.

Another group of women said they thought Stewart was performing a sexual act on himself during one of the bizarre incidents.

Stewart originally denied he had exposed himself, insisting he had been wearing swimming trunks because he had been jogging and claiming witnesses had mistaken him urinating for a sex act.

But he was placed on the sexual offenders register after pleading guilty to three charges of public indecency at Livingston Sheriff Court.

Stewart – who had not guilty pleas accepted to two other similar charges as well as a sexual assault – will be sentenced later.

Fiscal depute Marian Haig told the court how a 42-year-old had been shopping in Winchburgh’s Main Street in West Lothian in February this year.

When the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – returned to her car she noticed Stewart standing nearby.

As she made to turn her car Stewart pulled his private parts out of his trousers and exposed himself to her.

The woman reported the incident to police and although she identified Stewart as the flasher police released him without charge due to a lack of evidence.

But three months later he was at it again and this time preyed on a 19-year-old girl who was waiting for a bus in the town’s Tippetknowes Road.

The girl said Stewart had been wearing a t-shit that covered his upper-legs and she was not sure if he had been wearing anything underneath.

When the woman began walking away from the pervert he jumped out at her and pulled up the top, flashing his genitals at her.

The brave teenager shouted “f*** off” before reporting the incident to police – she later identified him from a book of photographs.

But the next day, on May 24 Stewart also exposed himself to a group of 30 to 40 year-old women who were training for a charity walk in Almondell Country Park near Mid Calder.

Miss Haig said the women had been surprised to see Stewart out in public wearing a pair of swimming trunks but had not been too concerned. But one woman was shocked when she noticed Stewart looking at her as she stopped to let her dog urinate.

Miss Haig said: “He was looking directly at her and appeared to her to be masturbating.”

A member of the group called her husband who in turn alerted police and officers found Stewart at a nearby car park.

During interview he admitted being present at some of the flashing incidents but denied that he had exposed himself. He claimed he had stripped to his “Speedos” to go jogging and that a group of women had witnessed him urinating.

Sheriff Iain Fleming deferred sentence for reports and Stewart was held in custody until then. He was placed on the sexual offenders register in the interim – a decision on how long he will remain on it will be taken later.

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