M&S executive sacked after exposing his private parts to colleagues for 'banter' over 16-year period
A Marks and Spencers executive who exposed his private parts to colleaguesÂ forÂ "banter" has been given a suspended prison term.
Nigel Farrow, who was employed as a Health and Safety Officer by the retail giant for 27 years, used a series of excuses to show off his genitals while "having a laugh" with workmates.
Newcastle Crown Court heard, over a period of around 16 years, the 51-year-old exposed himself on eight separate occasions to six different women.
Farrow, who has never been in trouble before, said through his legal team he is not a "sexual predator" and that his behaviour was "workplace banter taken to grossly inappropriate levels".
He has since lost his job with the retailer.
Prosecutor Jonathan Devlin told the court: "On a number of occasions, to various members of staff, of differing ages, he exposed his private parts in various circumstances.
"Once he claimed he had a rash and asked colleagues to look at it and matters of that nature.
"Members of staff, bearing in mind his status as, effectively, an executive officer, found it difficult, if not impossible to complain at the time."
The court heard it was only when the last victim came forward this year that other colleagues got the courage to report similar ordeals.
Farrow, of Hill Street, Seaham, pleaded guilty to eight charges of exposure.
Judge Robert Adams sentenced him to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and 100 hours unpaid work.
Farrow must sign the sex offenders register for seven years.
Judge Adams told him: "You exposed your private parts using various excuses to do so to other members of staff.
"One such excuse being you had a rash and wanted people to look at it.
"Surprisingly, perhaps, for years and years no-one made complaint. This must have been, in part, because of the position you occupied.
"It was not until the person who you exposed to this year made complaint that the others who had suffered as a result of your activities also came forward to say what you had done over previous years.
"You have lost your job you had for a number of years and you have lost your good name."
Lee Fish, defending, said Farrow now recognises his behaviour was "grossly inappropriate".
Mr Fish said: "It was grossly inappropriate banter.
"He is not a sexual predator, he is not a risk to the public, this is a defendant who simply did not fully appreciate what was acceptable behaviour, even when having a laugh with work colleagues.
"This defendant behaved in this way not through sexual desire or anything of that nature, it is because he simply allowed workplace banter to be taken to extreme and grossly inappropriate levels."
Mr Fish said Farrow was employed in Store Operations and was not in a significantly enhanced role.
Mr Fish added: "He has lost his job as a result of this, not surprisingly, bearing in mind the grossly inappropriate nature of his conduct."