A FORMER kitchen porter who made obscene suggestions to Wirral schoolchildren before exposing himself has narrowly escaped jail after pleading guilty to outraging public decency.

Birkenhead man Michael Freeman was arrested on September 12, last year after police received reports that he had been making inappropriate comments to two children as they walked along Wildbrook Drive.

The 29-year-old, who left the young children in tears was later found by officers at the end of the road with his trousers pulled down below his waist.

Freeman, of Rodney Street, appeared before Wirral magistrates on Thursday having previously pleaded guilty to the offence in December.

The court heard how Freeman - who has been out of work for a year but previously worked as a kitchen porter – had been heavily intoxicated at the time and could not recall what had happened.

Alan Currums, prosecuting, told the court Freeman – who was carrying a crate of beer - had followed the two schoolgirls as they made their way to Tesco before making the comments.

The two friends then ran home where Mr Currums said one of them “stood on the door step crying”.

Police attended at around 6.30pm and found Freeman at the end of the road.

He was clearly intoxicated and was abusive towards officers, who swiftly arrested him.

Mr Fitzpatrick, defending, told the magistrates Freeman had no recollection of the events but believed he had exposed himself to urinate.

He said: “He doesn’t describe himself as an alcoholic but he did state that he must have drank too much on that occasion and since that he has reduced his alcohol intake and has taken steps himself to ensure he is never placed in that situation again.”

Chairman of the bench, Alistair Coates, said the magistrates believed the case had passed the custody threshold, despite Mr Fitzpatrick’s claims that it did not.

He sentenced Freeman to eight weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

“That is because of the children that you involved and because of your inability to take responsibility for this,” explained Mr Coates.

Freeman was also given a 12-month supervision and community order, as well as being ordered to pay £165 costs.