Put it away: Pittaway's new running gear.
A senior lawyer who used his daily jog to repeatedly flash schoolgirls has been struck off.
Mark Pittaway was a director of Thursfields Solicitors in the West Midlands when he regularly exposed himself over a three-year period to at least four girls, one of whom told the court he had flashed her more than 30 times.
Pittaway pulled his shorts to one side as he ran past the children while they were on their way to school or waiting at a bus stop.
The solicitor, whose running for charity regularly featured in the press, was charged with five counts of indecent exposure while jogging around the Portland area of Dorset.
He was also his firm’s compliance officer, and reported himself to the SRA in 2021. He informed the regulator that “Last Thursday I was charged with offences, all of which I deny, but which are likely to become public knowledge at some stage whereby both the reputation of my firm and that of the profession might be harmed. They are not fraud or dishonesty related but may attract media attention nonetheless”.
The solicitor claimed to police that if anyone had seen his genitals it was “purely accidental” and a result of him wearing short shorts.
When he was shown CCTV footage he conceded that his genitals were on display, but maintained that he must have been hitching up his shorts to “scratch his groin area”.
Four eyewitnesses gave evidence at his trial. One said that "nearly every day for two years, this man would flash his genitals to me. I was in school. Walking to and from school. lt was horrible. I would go to school scared and frightened of what will happen to me. I thought he would've raped me or done stuff to me. I have never been so scared in my life. lt has degraded me as a woman and I felt targeted. When it first happened I was fourteen years old. I was a child".
A second victim said, "This incident left me feeling so uncomfortable going into school. lt got to the point that I would always make sure I was with someone or get a lift....I would think about the other children who must have seen this. There must have been so many children”.
Convicted of all five charges, Pittaway was given a suspended 12 month sentence and a 12 week curfew between 9pm and 9am.
For a period of ten years he was also prohibited from exercising in a public place unless he wears trousers, or shorts that are at least knee length and have no fly. In addition he was banned from jogging from Monday to Friday 7am-9am and 4.30pm-6.30pm, or at any time within sight of any school premises.
Pittaway agreed to be struck off the Roll and to pay the SRA’s costs of £2,850, having accepted the tribunal’s findings that the misconduct was planned, that he had direct control over his actions, and that he was senior figure and manager within his firm.