Anna was just 16-years-old and out for a run when a man at least three decades her senior followed her down a dark lane and exposed himself.

Almost 10 years on, she says the incident left her scared – and still wary of running late at night. She was flashed five years later by a beanie hat-wearing cyclist she suspected to be the same man.

“I had had an argument with my mum and I went out for a run,” she told the Adver of the first incident.

“It was winter, so it was dark and cold. I ran down to the canal and remember passing this guy who was stood against the wall by some bushes at the Kingshill end.

“I couldn’t see his face. He had a bike with him and he was wearing a beanie.

“I stopped to reply to a text from my boyfriend. A bike overtook me and stopped a little further down the path. It was dark, so I only knew about it because of the flashing light of his bike.

“I turned to go home. When I ran down an alleyway, the bike overtook me again. I was walking at this point and, as I went past the back of a house I saw him stood there with his trousers round his ankles, touching himself.

“I did a double take when I realised what was happening. I only noticed because his pale skin was practically glowing in the dark.”

She did not report the incident to police: “I don’t know why, but I didn’t really appreciate that it was crime. It was very scary, though, and I never went running again.

“A little while afterwards, I read a book about a criminal profiler who said rapists and murderers tend to have previous records for flashing.

“Then, obviously, I was even more scared about it. I just became super-aware of everyone around me. I had this feeling like I was being followed whenever I was walking alone. That faded as I got older.”

The footpath behind Kingshill Picture: GOOGLE

Five-years-later she was out walking in the town centre with her younger brother when they passed a hat-wearing older man masturbating in a side alleyway.

She said: “I called the police that time. They came and interviewed me that evening, but basically said to me there isn’t much they can do in these situations.

“Unless I called them right away and the guy hangs around, they said it was really difficult to catch them. I never heard anything else about it.

“Now, whenever I see anyone in that area with a beanie hat I think it might be him.

“I definitely get scared walking alone in the dark still. I remember walking down Okus Road one evening after that in tears because I was so terrified someone would attack me.”