March 2015

Pensioner aged 87 repeatedly exposed himself near children playing in busy park

Cavendish Press - Manchester

An 87-year-old pensioner repeatedly exposed himself near children as they were playing in a busy park.

Anthony Mancini was arrested after the shocking incident during the half term school holidays.

One mother who was with her family said she felt “sick” by the OAP’s behaviour and told police: “The children were asking what the man had done wrong and wanted to know why.

“I do not lie to my children so had to find a way to say what had happened. It was the worst conversation. I had to explain what a paedophile was.

Another woman, a child minder said: “He looked like a harmless old man because of his age but what he has done has disgusted me.”

The incidents at Nuttall Park in Ramsbottom, Bury, Greater Manchester occurred at 1.15pm on October 28 last year when they were an estimated 80 people in the park – the majority of who were children.

At Bury magistrates court Mancini, from Summerseats, Bury, who is also known as Bertram Monk pleaded guilty to outraging public decency and was given a three year community order.

Robin Lynch prosecuting said: “A lady was in Nuttall Park with her children, aged between 8-11 when she saw a male acting suspiciously in the bushes in the park. She said she saw him stood between two trees with his pans open and she saw blue boxer shorts. It says his right hand was in his boxer shorts. She said she could clearly see the male masturbating and making masturbating movements in his pants.

“It made her feel sick and disgusted.”
 The mother rang police on her mobile phone and as she headed the tennis court area of the park, spotted Mancini loitering between trees.

A second woman also spotted Mancini, 45 minutes later, as she was looking after her two children and another child at the park.

Mr Lynch said: “She was a child minder. She had two children with her at the time and met up with other children in the park.

“The children were playing and at one stage struggled trying to drag the branch across which took all three of them to do so.

“She went and sat on the bench nearby keeping watch and saw a male looking at the three children from behind the tree.

“She didn’t know where the male had come from and had not seen him approach and had not seen him walk past. At first she could just see the male had kept looking around at the three children. At the time they were 3, 5 and 6 years of age.”

She saw Mancini carrying out a sex act but police already arrived before she had the chance to alert them. In a victim personal statement the mother who first spotted the pensioner said after the incident her children had been upset about why she had had to talk to the police.

The other woman’s five year-old son was said to be ‘much more clingy after the incident.’ Mr Lynch added: “His mother said his teachers have noticed a change in him and he is upset when it comes to home time. She said ‘I believe it is a direct result of what happened at the park.’

Her victim statement also read: “This man looked like a harmless old man because of his age. I dismissed him as not a threat but what he has done has disgusted me.”

Mancini has 52 previous offences on his record include indecency with the latest dating back to the 1990s. He initially denied wrongdoing in police interview.

His lawyer Roger Taylor said in mitigation: “He has never had interest in children and the thought of that has certainly affected him.

“That is a terrible suggestion and he says he has never been attracted to children whatsoever. What he must accept, that in a park, or public place, it can be empty and also have many people and they can be distressed by what they see. On this occasion witnesses were distressed and reported distress.”

Mancini was ordered to abide a three month curfew between the hours of 3pm and 10pm.

He must also attend a sexual offences treatment programme and is subject to Sexual Harms Prevention Order for five years with conditions that he cannot enter any park in Ramsbottom and may not have any contact with a child under the age of 18 unsupervised.

Chair of the Bench Georgina Hastie, said: “These rather serious offences were repulsive for a lot of people. The victim impact statement heard of sickness and disgust, loss of confidence looking after other people’s children and how children have been affected. “