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A FATHER-OF-TWO told a court he exposed his private parts in a park because he had a fungal infection.
Michael Cohen, 53, pleaded guilty to outraging the public decency by exposing himself in East Hill Park in Portslade, Brighton.
He told Brighton Magistrates court he was scratching his itchy genitals when exposed himself in the park where young children were present.
The court heard on April 19 a witness saw the man with an erect penis in the proximity of groups of children in the park.
In mitigation, Sarah Smith, told the court the married father-of-two had a medical note supporting his chronic fungal infection, but he accepted it was inappropriate to perform the action in a public place.
She told the court: “There was no intention to target a particular victim and he disputed any knowledge of a playgroup.
“He was on a park bench in a big open space and turned to face the trees to do what he did.
“He was not aware anyone could see what he was doing.
“He doesn’t have to be aware of anyone there to commit the offence.”
He denied getting any sexual gratification from his act.
Speaking from the dock Cohen told District Judge Tessa Szagun: “I’m not that sort of person your honour.”
Cohen of Oakdene Crescent, Portslade, Brighton pleaded guilty to outraging the public decency.
Judge Szagun adjourned the hearing to determine if the Cohen did get sexual gratification as it would affect his sentence.
Speaking to Cohen she said: “I know you want me to deal with the matter today and as quickly as possible.
“I note you were a man of good character and plead guilty on a specific basis.
“I have taken into account the fact you were charged with outraging the public decency which means you committed a lewd or obscene act.
“You have accepted that was in a place in view of the public and said you were not masturbating.
“Whether or not your behaviour was for sexual gratification, which you might have achieved being in the vicinity of young children is highly relevant to the type of intervention appropriate to impose through a community order or way of punishment or prevent reoffending.
“There seems little alternative explanation for why chose to take the action you did and where you did.
“Therefore I have to conclude despite your guilty plea, it will be vital to sentencing decision whether or not exposure accompanied by act of masturbation for personal gratification and will adjourn for issue to be determined.”
He will reappear at Brighton Magistrates next month.
Source: The Argus