A SEX OFFENDER sparked a manhunt by driving around Hampshire towns exposing himself to women.

Vivendra Ashafi Lal left his victims shaking, crying and hysterical, a court heard.

Prosecution barrister, Mark Gadsden told how the 42-year-old would drive around Eastleigh, Chandler’s Ford and Fair Oak in his Toyota.

He would then pull up to ask his victims the “whereabouts of McDonald’s”.

The father of two of the High Street, Eastleigh, “would then proceed to fondle or masturbate” himself, Mr Gadsden added.

All of Lal’s victims were women and aged between 54 and 83-years-old.

His youngest - and who had learning difficulties - was reduced to tears after he approached her in Chandler’s Ford.

Another victim told how when she realised Lal’s trousers were down and he was “totally exposed” she “immediately screamed and walked away quickly”.

She said the ordeal “left her shaking and hysterical”.

During a final incident, he touched himself in front of a woman gardening at her home in Fair Oak.

Lal drove off but realised the road was a dead-end and tried to cover up his registration plate.

When he drove back out a witness was able to take a photo and report him to police.

Officers launched a hunt to track him down and when he was finally arrested and interviewed, he gave no comment.

Appearing before Southampton Crown Court he was charged with five counts of indecent exposure.

He previously pleaded guilty to the offences which happened between September and October in 2019.

Defending, Laura Deuxberry said: “The fact is he hasn’t offended in the last year and seven months. Your honour, you will have already heard more than once he is of previous good character.”

She added that Lal was ashamed of what happened and extremely remorseful.

Miss Deuxberry added that he “wants to get help to understand why it happened”.

She argued for the judge to suspend any custodial sentence.

During sentencing, Judge Peter Henry deemed the "extremely unpleasant" offences so serious that they crossed the custody threshold.

He said: “You are an untreated sex offender. Rehabilitation is a possibility, and the public is best protected by you understanding why you committed these offences.”

He jailed him for nine months, suspended for two years.

Lal must register as a sex offender for ten years, complete 31 sessions of an accredited programme, 120 hours of unpaid work and ten rehabilitation days.