Neighbours ‘set up’ man accused of exposing himself

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A Belfast man accused of exposing himself outside his home was “set up” by neighbours filming the incident, a court heard on Thursday.

Raymond Surgenor was given a conditional discharge after a judge was told he had been encouraged and provoked into his actions.

The 68-year-old, of Ballysillan Road in the north of the city, pleaded guilty to indecent behaviour and two assaults on police.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard a member of the public flagged down police on May 30 to report a man standing outside his house with his trousers pulled down.

But a prosecution lawyer accepted there had been an exchange between Surgenor and neighbours across the road who witnessed the incident.

She said: “They were heard on audio (recordings) to encourage the defendant in his behaviour.”

No distress was caused to anyone during the incident, the court was told.

Surgenor was said to have raised his fists and squared up to the officers who arrested him.

They restrained him in handcuffs, fearing an assault. However, neither officer was injured.

Defence counsel Luke Curran said his client was drinking at the time and had “a bit of history” with people on the other side of the road.

“They were filming the defendant and provoking a response off camera,” he claimed.

Stressing there was no sexual aspect to the incident, Mr Curran said Surgenor was embarrassed by his momentary actions.

“Police arrived and he realised he had been set up by his neighbours,” the barrister added.

After being told of Surgenor’s medical issues, the judge imposed a two-year conditional discharge to cover all offences.