A man who spent "up to 45 minutes" performing a sex act on himself in front of passers-by on a busy Tyneside road has avoided prison.
Simon Hawkins, who was on the Sex Offenders' Register after being convicted of having indecent images of children in 2020, was spotted exposing himself at the window of his home on Osborne Road, in Jesmond.
Three witnesses saw what the 45-year-old was doing and noted that he seemed to be watching for young females passing, a court heard.
Families with young children were also on the street at the time and could have easily seen Hawkins, prosecutors said. He was reported to the police and later arrested.
Hawkins, formerly of Osborne Road but now of Benwell Hall Drive, in Benwell, has now been given a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after he pleaded guilty to one count of exposure. He had previously denied the offence but later changed his plea.
Claire Armstrong, prosecuting, told Newcastle Magistrates' Court that a witness first saw Hawkins in the window of his home on February 26 last year. She noticed he had his trousers down and was performing a sex act.
Miss Armstrong added: "It went on for about 45 minutes. The street was busy and there were young female students walking past and families with young children and others.
"He seemed to only come out from behind a curtain when young females were walking past his house."
In a statement, the witness said: "I'm creeped out by it all. I'm nervous about what his intentions are and what he's capable of."
A second witness said: "I was shocked by this male's behaviour and felt uncomfortable. This man's actions would cause anyone alarm or distress.
"There were children present on Osborne Road, which was a concern."
The court heard that Hawkins had three offences on his record, all for making indecent images of children from 2020. On that occasion, he was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years and made to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for the same period.
Mark Humble, defending, said Hawkins suffered from a "fragile" mental health condition and was often isolated in his home.
Mr Humble added: "This incident occurred in February 2022, 17 months ago, and he's not come to the attention of the police since that time.
"He's not committed any further offences since. He's also only lightly convicted. He had a community order on the last occasion, which he complied with."
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