Cooks Beach flasher banned from beaches

JILL CLEAVE
Last updated 14:24 07/01/2014

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The Coromandel's alleged serial flasher who caught by undercover police at a popular holiday spot has been unmasked and ordered to stay 100 metres away from any beach.

Michael Bruce Bell, 41 appeared in Thames District Court this morning charged with obscenely exposing himself at Cooks Beach on New Year's Eve.

Bell was arrested after police set up an undercover sting and posedas holiday makers after complaints about a man flashing tourists. 

Yesterday a duty solicitor, acting on Bell's behalf, said he believed he had a defence to the charges, but very little resources to engage a lawyer to do so and he needed time to seek legal assistance. 

Bell also indicated to him that he would seek a monetary penalty rather than any other sentence.

But Judge David Ruth said a fine could have been appropriate if this was Bell's first appearance, but as he'd been regularly active in a similar way going back to 2003 that might not be possible.

The Judge said the court had to have regard for public safety and told Bell an electronically monitored sentence was probably more appropriate, though he'd want to see a comprehensive pre-sentence assessment first.

Bell, who is yet to enter a plea, was bailed on the condition he did not go within 100 metres of Ferry Landing and or within 100 metres of any other beach.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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