A man who exposed himself and performed a sex act in his car as children walked past on their way home from school, has been jailed.
Andrew Mingaye pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual activity in the presence of a child, claiming he was being wrongly accused by the police.
But on the day of trial at Warwick Crown Court he admitted being responsible and pleaded guilty to an alternative offence of exposure.
Mingaye, 29 of Rylands Close, Leamington, was jailed for six months and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Speaking to the court, prosecutor Raj Punia said that on a Friday in March last year a 12-year-old girl and a friend were walking home from school along Gainsborough Drive on the Sydenham Estate.
The girl noticed a stationary black Renault which moved off and then pulled up in a layby ahead of them.
The girls glanced in and could see that the driver, Mingaye, had exposed himself and was looking at them as he performed a sex act.
Mingaye drove off after the girls crossed over the road. Police were told and he was arrested two weeks later after an officer spotted his car.
He initially denied being involved, saying he had an alibi. But in a second interview, admitted exposing himself to the girls who he said he thought were aged 14 or 15.
Mingaye eventually admitted responsibility on the basis that he had not deliberately intended the girls to see what he was doing.
The court heard that he has previous convictions for exposure in 2008, when he exposed himself to a woman and her 13-year-old daughter as they passed his home, and for performing a sex act during a Facetime video call.
Lisa Hennessy, defending, said Mingaye was “not the normal sort of person” to appear in the court for such an offence, and had been happily married for the last nine years.
She explained: “He is subject to periods of great stress. He has suffered from depression, and at times of great stress this behaviour emerges.”
“He is aware this is a serious problem which could eventually land him in prison. But it doesn’t seem to me this is a case where, at this point, custody is the best option.
“He feels nothing but shame.”
Jailing Mingaye, Judge Alan Parker told him: “In an area close to a school, at a time when parents would be going to and fro to collect their children, and when children would be coming from school, you were sat in your car and masturbating.
“Although you did not target those girls, children would have seen what you were doing in plain sight, in daylight, in your car.
“It is said you have remorse. I find that very hard to believe. You have tried to delay the consequences of your disgraceful behaviour.
“You pursued deviant sexual gratification to take private sexual behaviour into the public arena. You have put the pursuit of personal sexual gratification before the rights and wellbeing of others.
“You had your chance, the court will not tolerate behaviour of this kind.”