AN INVESTIGATOR helped bring a pervert to justice after a three-year battle.

Rose Horan led the police effort to catch Edward Kent by gathering intelligence, speaking with victims and passing on information to officers on patrol.

She said catching Kent became a three year “game of cat and mouse” as the suspect evaded police.

Patrols would be stepped up and Kent would not show himself, only to be followed by a string of new reports several months later, Ms Horan said.

She first realised the cases may be linked and went back through earlier police reports to trace victims.

Kent had exposed himself to girls as young as 12 after school and was dubbed the “Preston Park Flasher”.

He is now banned from entering parks in Brighton and Hove for five years and had to complete sex offender rehabilitation sessions, along with unpaid work.

Brighton Police Commander Nick May said her work had stopped Kent from committing crimes which may have become even more serious.

He said: “She encouraged young victims to gather evidence, and during the next year offences did take place. The offender exposed himself again in January last year, and Rose worked diligently to bring 16 cases to the CPS.

“He was not known to the police, so it was a prolonged investigation, and Rose showed care for the victims.”

Rose said: “It seemed to be a game of cat and mouse. He would come out for two or three days at a time, then leave it. We always seemed to be a little bit behind.

“But the descriptions the girls gave of him were outstanding and detailed.

“It became a real community effort really, and it was a huge relief that he was stopped.”