THE man always appeared between 8.30am and 9am – just when his victims were walking to school.
Always dressed in either a long-sleeve high-visibility shirt, a business shirt or a high-visibility orange vest, he would hide in bushland outside or on the way to high schools at Cardiff South and Glendale until an unsuspecting school girl approached.
And then he would appear from his hiding spot in the bushes or shout out to get the girl’s attention.
When the girls looked his way the man would have his pants lowered or his fly down to expose his penis and he would be masturbating.
Sometimes he would groan, other times he would say “sorry”.
Six times between August 10 and December 7, 2017, the man confronted seven girls, aged between 13 and 17, as they walked to school.
The schools were notified, police were called and an investigation was launched, which included repeated appeals for the public to provide information and the release of a computer-generated image of the suspect.
And still the flashings continued. It wasn’t until one of the girls allegedly spotted the man again, three weeks after he had exposed himself to her, and took down the number plate of his car.
Police put a tracker on the vehicle and followed the man as he drove aimlessly around Cardiff South on December 7 last year.
“He was driving around at that point essentially looking for his next target,” DPP solicitor Kylie Henry told Magistrate Michael Barko in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday. “He was filling in time waiting for the girls to start walking to school.”
Police were watching when the man got out of his car and walked 180 metres to a spot near where the other flashings had occurred.
“He quickened his pace to get into position because he knew the girl was on her way,” Ms Henry said.
But the police got there first. The man they found was Glenn David Chester, 46, of Thornton. He had his pants unzipped and was “doing something with his hands at the front of his pants”.
Police told him to stop, but he took off running. He was later arrested and told police he had come to the drain area near the school to collect weed for fishing and had needed to urinate.
On Thursday, Mr Chester faced the third day of a four-day hearing into 10 charges, including seven counts of committing an act of indecency towards a person under the age of 16.
He has pleaded not guilty.
But during her closing address, Ms Henry said the circumstantial evidence was stacked against him.
“Having regard to all of these events, the descriptions, locations, all the similarities, there’s simply no other reasonable conclusion other than that this man is the person who committed the offences on each occasion.”
Once he was charged with the 2017 offences, police allegedly linked Mr Chester to a similar offence committed at Fletcher in 2009.
On that occasion a girl, 17, says a man exposed himself and masturbated in front of her about 8pm on November 2, 2009.
Defence barrister Nic Moir will make closing submissions on Friday before Mr Barko considers his judgement.