A crossdresser exposed himself to a teenager before targeting other ‘young ladies’ outside a college near from his home in Swindon, a court heard.
Andrew Keen, 41, was sentenced at Swindon Magistrates’ Court yesterday (27 April), after admitting an indecent exposure offence and two charges of causing harassment, alarm or distress.
Prosecutor Kate Prince said the defendant, of Clanfield Road, Park North, approached a lone 17-year-old girl just 250 metres from his address – and asked her for the time on 26 September last year.
But things turned odd when Keen – who was wearing women’s clothing – asked if he could have her top and bottoms for a charity. She declined, and he went on to ask if she could sign his skirt.
After bending down to sign his skirt with a lipstick he provided, he lifted his top and showed her his genitals – which were poking out of his skirt’s waistband.
“Shocked, confused and scared”, she agreed to his second request – for her to have a photograph with him, which she took on her own mobile phone. He asked if he could put this arm around her, but she said no.
The next day, Keen ventured out again – this time targeting a 16-year-old girl outside New College.
He asked her: “Will you take your clothes off so I can have them?”, claiming it was for charity, before asking her for her phone number. The victim called the police to report the encounter.
On 28 September, he accosted a 17-year-old girl as she got off the bus on Queens Drive, near New College. He asked her for the time before asking if he could borrow her clothes for charity. He went on to request that she takes her clothing off.
Worried about his behaviour, she ran into the college and reported the incident. In a statement to police, she said she is now “scared and anxious about going to college”.
Mr Prince said the defendant was identified by the photograph the initial victim was asked to take on her own mobile phone.
Defending, Sam Arif described her client as a “loner”, who was struggling with his sexuality. She said older generations of his family could not accept it.
She added that Keen saw the ‘approaches’ as opportunities to talk to young women – who he believed would be more open to his sexuality.
Ms Arif said he stopped offending as soon as she was spoken to by the police, who were investigating the spate of concerning incidents.
She said Keen has a “myriad of issues” and learned about things via the internet, rather than via the appropriate channels. She added that he has found it difficult to deal with his family situation and with “who he wants to be”.
Ms Arif said his crimes “could have been worse” – claiming they were very short encounters.
Chief magistrate Martin Clarke told the defendant that the bench was considering sending him to prison for his crimes.
“We’ve been thinking long and hard about what to do with you.
“What’s worrying here is that you deliberately target certain young females, these are young girls, young ladies, very young.
“One of them has actually said she was shocked and confused, she didn’t have a clue what you were talking about. That’s worrying Mr Keen.
“Our range is from a community penalty to sending you to prison today, that’s how serious this is… serious.”
Mr Clarke imposed a 24-month community order and banned Keen from going near both New College sites for 12 months – which will be monitored by a GPS tag.
He must also complete 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, 200 hours of unpaid work and register as a sex offender for five years.
Talking about the order as a whole, Mr Clarke added: “If you break that and end up in that area, you could be going out that back door instead of the front door.”
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