A Co Antrim man who twice exposed himself to a woman on the run has been sentenced to two years probation.

Shane Fitzpatrick (37) was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and banned from entering the Carrickfergus area.

Fitzpatrick, of Glenview Crescent in Newtownabbey, was warned he could face jail if he did not comply.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he assaulted the victim on two separate days in September last year.

Prosecutors said that during one incident, she was running on Shore Road in Greenisland when Fitzpatrick approached her and exposed his genitals.

He encountered the injured again later that month while fleeing the nearby Marine Highway in Carrickfergus. She again reported seeing a man running with his genitals exposed.

Police dispatched a patrol to the area and located the suspect near the Ulster University campus in Jordanstown. Fitzpatrick was arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of willful exposure to cause alarm or fear.

Defense lawyer Charlene Dempsey told the court he has no criminal record and retains his parents’ full support.

“You can work with him to make sure there are no more crimes of this nature,” she added.

District Judge Steven Keown imposed a two-year probation and warned the accused: “It is absolutely critical that nothing like this ever happens again. Then you have to reckon with imprisonment.”

Under the terms of the warrant, Fitzpatrick is banned from having contact with the victim or entering Carrickfergus grounds.

He must also liaise with the authorities to identify appropriate interventions or work programs to address areas of identified risk.

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