A 40-year-old man from Penge has been spared jail after he stalked two young girls and admitted having a sexual attraction to children. 

Richard Eggleton, of Samos Road, appeared at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (August 16) after he pleaded guilty to stalking two 11-year-olds. 

The two girls said they first encountered Eggleton in 2021 when he began to follow them and shout their names when he passed them in the street. 

This behaviour escalated in 2022 when he knocked on one of their doors and asked her mum if her daughter wanted to “come out to play”. 

The terrified mum phoned the police and officers warned Eggleton that he cannot approach or talk to the girls again. 

However, only a few weeks later he followed them and asked for their Snapchat accounts, the court heard. 

The following month police took statements from the two girls after they were again followed by Eggleton. 

This time he told one of the 11-year-old girls “you don’t know how pretty you are” and that he would be them cannabis when he was older, the court heard. 

The girls phoned 999 and Eggleton was arrested and interviewed at Bromley Police Station. 

Eggleton said he was suffering with his mental health and didn’t know what was and wasn’t reality. 

He also told police he had drunk 12 beers and taken cocaine which “makes him horny”. 

He told police he had a sexual attraction to children but now he was sober he realised it was inappropriate to call the girl pretty. 

The court was told that Eggleton was previously convicted of sexual assault in 2007 and in 2014 he was cautioned for exposure after he stood in his front window and masturbated towards girls who were in the street outside. 

Eggleton’s solicitor said her client suffers from severe mental health and alcohol problems. 

“His actions are as a result of those mental health problems he has been suffering from,” she said. 

She added: “He has told me today ‘I feel embarrassed, shameful and it’s something I’m not proud of but the drink and the drugs legs me to behave that way’. 

“He’s no longer binge drinking, he no longer takes drugs. He actually self-admitted himself to hospital and did 52 weeks of treatment,” she said. 

 Eggleton was given a 10 week prison sentence suspended for one and a half years as magistrates said they think his mental health can be managed better outside of prison. 

Restraining orders were granted banning him from making any contact with the young girls.