A man has admitted exposing his genitals to children after he had coaxed them into woods under the pretence that he needed help looking for a dog.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on May 15 how Bradley Hearne, 22, approached youngsters at a park area on Brooks Road, at Barrowhill, near Staveley, and claimed he had lost a dog.
Prosecuting solicitor Marianne Connolly added one of the children had been with a group of friends who had been approached by Hearne who said he had lost a dog and needed help to look for it.
Ms Connolly added: “He showed a picture on a mobile phone and encouraged them to follow him to a wooded area and in the park he exposed his genitals to the children present and caused them to run away.”
Police tracked Hearne down after they were given a description and he was arrested shortly after the incident, according to Ms Connolly.
Hearne, of Hazelwood Drive, Barnsley, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to intentionally exposing his genitals to cause alarm or distress.
Ms Connolly said there are concerns about Hearne’s mental health and he is currently on sick-leave from the Army.
Defence solicitor Kevin Tomlinson said Hearne is a trooper with the Royal Lancers regiment, based at Cambrai Barracks, at Catterick Garrison, and he has been on sick leave due to concerns for his well-being.
Mr Tomlinson added that Hearne had been residing at a Chesterfield address but he will now be staying with his mother in Barnsley.
A mental health expert also told the court Hearne has been assessed as someone suffering with mental health problems and he recommended ongoing assessment and care for the defendant.
Magistrates adjourned the case until June 3 to consider a probation report before sentencing.