A MAN who masturbated in front of two 15-year-old girls in Chard has escaped prison.

Brendan Leigh Harnett, 21, of Bubwith Close in Chard committed the offence on November 10 in Brian Mooney Close.

He pleaded guilty to outraging public decency by behaving in an indecent manner at South Somerset Magistrates’ Court in January and was sentenced at the same court last week.

Magistrates handed him a 12-month community order, which includes a supervision requirement, a ten-day education, training and employment programme and a ban from entering Brian Mooney Close.

Harnett must also pay a £60 victim surcharge and £40 costs.