‘Flashing’ cabbie spared jail term

By Sami Mokbel, Croydon Guardian

A Croydon cabbie who flashed at a female passenger narrowly escaped jail when he appeared in court last week.

David Brookes, of Station Road, Kenley, was sentenced to a two-and-a-half year community order by way of a sexual offenders treatment programme, given a 12-month driving ban and ordered to pay costs of £1,399 at Croydon Crown Court last Friday.

Brookes, 47, was found guilty of indecent exposure in January after a jury trial.

At a previous hearing the court heard how Brookes exposed himself to a female passenger, a psychiatric nurse, after talking to her about his marital problems.

The court was told that when the woman went to get money out of her handbag to pay Brookes, she noticed he was holding his erect penis.

The court also heard how Brookes told the passenger he regularly masturbated while listening to x-rated telephone chat lines.

At last week’s hearing Brookes’ defence solicitor, Abigail Penny, blamed her client’s troubled past for the offence.

She said: "Mr Brookes is a 47-year-old man who has never been in trouble and is a very vulnerable man. He is a man who went to a special needs school as a child and finds it difficult to interact in society. He suffers from depression and has been referred to a psychiatrist.

"He fell in love and then married a woman from Burma but after a while she lost interest in sexual relations with him, which was the topic of conversation in the car with the complainant. A prison sentence would do nothing to help this man progress in life."

In summary Judge Kenneth Macrae told Brookes he was lucky to escape a jail term.

He said: "I did have in mind a 10-month imprisonment term for you. I’ve been held back from that option but that will not help you deal with your problem."

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