The pervert who exposed himself to two horrified women was also taken off sex offender’s register
Depraved fantasist Richard Donald (33), of Judes Crescent, Newtownards, Co Down, was also removed from the sex offender’s register despite finally accepting responsibility for his sex crimes.
Deviant Donald was convicted of exposing his genitals to two different women on four separate occasions at Ards Magistrates Court in August.
The pervert was handed a 12-month suspended sentence at the time but continued to deny his guilt and took an appeal against his conviction and sentence.
At Laganside County Court on Tuesday, Donald dropped his appeal against conviction just as the hearing was due to start with his lawyer saying he now accepts his guilt.
The appeal against his sentence went ahead, however, with His Honour Judge Patrick McGurgan reducing his punishment to a probation order and removing Donald from the Sex Offender’s Register.
Judge McGurgan said: “Up until this moment you have been in complete denial and told probation you blamed the victims for telling lies which just beggars belief. You clearly have a problem and a very serious problem in my mind.
“However, in the circumstances I do not believe prison is the best place for you to get the serious help you need. You can count yourself very lucky.”
The court heard creepy Donald had lost his young family, home and job over the offences, with the judge adding: “I am one of the family court judges and no doubt your name will come before me in the near future.
“There is very little chance of you having unsupervised access to your children any time soon and the victims can take heart in that sense.”
Earlier the court heard how cowardly Donald finally decided to admit his guilt just as the appeal hearing was about to start.
His lawyer said: “Having consulted at some length with the defendant he now accepts these matters but obviously should have done so at an earlier stage.
“He has a completely clear record (otherwise) and his partner is a respectable lady with two children.
“Some of these offences have issues which then flow from within one’s own family and within the community which make it difficult for individuals to reconcile with themselves and with what they have done.
“He is now in that position, he has reconciled with his errant behaviour over a period of time. It was exposure and only exposure during this short-lived period of time although that doesn’t excuse what he did.
“He has lost his employment and the home he had been residing in, offences of this nature can also bring the attention of negative community forces if I may use that euphemism.
“Social services have also become involved with him and his young family who he is currently living apart from.
“He wants to resume normal family life as soon as possible and knows he must work with government agencies to ensure he does not stray on to such a path in future.
“Had he admitted these offences at the beginning he could have been dealt with via a probation order and now that the penny has dropped with him I would suggest it is an appropriate remedy.”
Giving evidence at Donald’s trial one of his victims revealed how he exposed himself after calling to her home asking to borrow a hose to fill a child’s paddling pool.
In the run-up to Christmas last year, he had been at her house to retrieve a parcel and again there was an exposure incident. She contacted police because it had got “too much”.
The second woman targeted by Donald explained how he flashed her while in his back garden, shouting “what’s happening” and laughing and smiling.
Despite claiming to have lost his job as a result of his sexual deviance, Sunday Life exposed Donald as working opposite a school at The Detailing Specialist car business in September.
Parents of teenage girls who attend the South Eastern Regional College (SERC) in Newtownards were furious about the sex offender working across the street.
At the time Donald still maintained his innocence and phoned this newspaper to moan about our coverage of his crimes.
“I’m completely innocent,” he whined, “one person in particular has it in for me. They have been ringing around places telling lies.”
Following his successful appeal against sentence Donald was handed an 11-month probation order and told to attend a sexual abuse programme. Restraining orders were also issued in respect of both victims for a period of two years.