December 2018

Pensioner was serial ‘flasher’

A PENSIONER has been convicted of multiple offences of indecent exposure.

The married 72-year-old denied the offences, but was convicted following a trial at which his victim was forced to give evidence.

It then emerged that Brian Charles Gough had received a police caution for similar offending in the past, that his behaviour was “entrenched” and that he was still in denial about it.

On Thursday, November 15, Mr Gough appeared for sentencing at Reading Magistrates’ Court.

Clare Barclay, prosecuting, said that he had targeted one woman in particular, repeatedly exposing himself to her and masturbating.

She added: “It became almost a weekly occurrence until he was arrested.”

Mr Gough, of Rotherfield Close, Theale, was arrested but vehemently denied the allegations, leading to a trial on October 15, at which he was convicted of three specimen charges of indecent exposure on dates in December last year and in January this year.

His victim said in a statement that she had been deeply affected by Mr Gough’s behaviour, to the extent that she had needed cognitive behavioural therapy.

She added: “It has caused anxiety. I have had nightmares and suffered poor sleep.

“It has had a greater effect on me … than anyone could imagine.”

A probation officer told magistrates: “Mr Gough has continued to maintain his innocence.

“He claims he couldn’t have been masturbating because he suffers from erectile disfunction.

“There is little credibility in his statements. 

“It seems the whole point is getting a reaction from others.

“It’s a form of exercising power or control by eliciting an emotional response from others.

“He might have enjoyed the fact she was disgusted and came to focus on the individual who complained.

“His behaviour is probably motivated by thrill-seeking… and deeply entrenched.”

The court heard that Mr Gough’s wife of 27 years, who accompanied him to court, had supported him throughout and continued to do so.

Simon Grant, defending, said: “I would hope he could be given some form of assistance – clearly these are complicated matters.”

He acknowledged the caution in 2003, but added: “It’s quite late in life to come into the criminal justice system.”

After retiring to confer with colleagues, presiding magistrate Lindsey Appleton told Mr Gough he would be sentenced to a two-year community order with the requirement that he attend a 30-day ‘Horizon’ sex offender treatment programme and a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

She said: “Break these conditions or fail to comply and you could be re-sentenced and sent to prison.”

Mr Gough was also ordered to pay £750 towards the cost of the trial, a statutory victim services surcharge of £85 and £100 in compensation to his victim.

Finally, he was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.