A MAN who exposed himself to an off-duty policewoman blamed his actions on being bored with retirement, York magistrates heard.

The officer was out walking her dog on Clifton Ings when Peter Abel, 63, standing on the other side of the River Ouse, gave her a full frontal view of a sexual act, said Sandra White, prosecuting.

“Disgusted and upset” by his actions, the officer alerted on-duty colleagues, who arrested Abel. He told them he had been exposing himself for a year or two.

“He said he had a strong sexual urge,” Mrs White said, quoting Abel’s police interview. “He didn’t want to upset or hurt anyone. He just has this urge and that is what he has to do at that time.”

Abel, of Tockwith Road, Long Marston, pleaded guilty to indecent exposure and was given a three-year community order with a two-year sex offenders’ treatment programme.

He must also pay £250 prosecution costs and was put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

Julian Tanikal, for Abel, said his client had never been in trouble with the law before. But his behaviour had changed after he retired in 2008 and started a life without “mental stimulation”. That led to him being clinically depressed. The court heard he also had health problems, including a muscle disorder and a form of rheumatic arthritis, both of which he will have for the rest of his life.

He was awaiting tests by a clinical psychologist and others following an MRI scan that had revealed possible problems with his brain. The combination of health and mental problems had created great pressures upon Abel.

“This has caused him to behave in the way he has,” said Mr Tanikal.

However, he was likely to have a more mentally stimulating time in future, as he had taken on a part-time consultancy work with a green energy project.

Mrs White said the policewoman had been among several people out walking their dogs or jogging on Clifton Ings on September 17 at 2.30pm.