A MAN who shouted “Come on boys and girls” as he exposed himself to children in a town centre has been spared a prison sentence.

David Henderson’s behaviour was described as “an absolute disgrace” by Recorder Simon Eckersley as he sentenced the 62-year-old at Bradford Crown Court.

Prosecutor Lauren Smith said Henderson, of Wyvil Road in Ilkley, was seen stumbling around and holding onto a railing in Brook Street in the town centre at around 3pm on September 29 last year.

It was the time of day when children had been let out of nearby schools.

Henderson, who was heavily intoxicated, was heard to make a troubling comment. 

At this point, Henderson’s trousers fell down, but he was still wearing underpants.

He then rubbed his genitals through his underpants before pulling them down to expose himself.

Three boys who witnessed the incident gave statements saying they had been left “shocked and alarmed” by what had happened.

After being arrested by police Henderson said he had no recollection of what had happened but when informed of his behaviour he said it was “disgraceful” and apologised. He denied any sexual motivation.

In mitigation, Joanne Shepherd said Henderson’s drinking had been precipitated by the death of his partner, who he had nursed through the final months of her life during the Covid pandemic.

She said that he was “clearly remorseful” and that his personality had been affected by a brain injury caused by a combination of alcohol abuse, boxing injuries, and an assault.

She said it had “caused him to act in a manner that he wouldn’t ordinarily act in”.

Sentencing Henderson, Mr Recorder Simon Eckersley said it was “an absolute disgrace” that children spilling out of school had been confronted by him stumbling around drunk.

He added: “That was bad enough but what you then did was an outrage and highly concerning.”

He said one of the comments made by Henderson was “highly sexual and aimed at children”.

And Henderson’s act of rubbing his genitals before exposing himself was “explicitly sexual and no doubt deeply upsetting and traumatising”.

He said: “No one, particularly children, should have to witness such a despicable sexualised piece of behaviour.

“The fact that you were so drunk that you cannot remember is not an excuse.”

Henderson, who has been in custody in HMP Leeds since early October, was handed an 18-month community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement of 30 days and ordered to complete 60 hours unpaid work in the next 12 months.

He must also undertake a six-month alcohol treatment programme.

The judge also imposed a five-year sexual harm protection order, which prohibits Henderson from being within 50m of any school from 7-9am and 2-4pm.

He was also added to the sex offenders' register for five years.