A TWEED Heads West man convicted of repeatedly fondling himself in front of his neighbours claimed the teenage girls next door had been "showing off" their bodies.
The man, 40, faced Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday, charged with four counts of committing an act of indecency, after masturbating on two occasions in clear view of his neighbours, including two girls aged 15 and 16.
The two girls and the father of one of them gave evidence against the man after witnessing him masturbating openly in the backyard of his home in late February.
The accused flatly denied the claims and told the court he was simply resting his hand inside his shorts as a "nice way to relax".
The court heard the father was appalled to witness the neighbour touching himself while gazing towards the witness's daughter's bedroom window.
"He stood on his deck looking up towards the window," he said.
The father said the accused was wearing clothes, but he was certain of his actions.
"There was nothing left to the imagination," he said.
"When he saw me he jumped back behind the table."
The second time this happened, he and his wife called the police.
The accused continued to deny he was doing anything untoward and said his neighbours shouldn't have been "perving" on him, and claimed they had been "looking at him" several times a week.
The father said his only concern was for what his daughter was being exposed to.
"I was only worried about my own family, with people drinking alcohol and things next door," he said.
"I didn't even know his name...I had no interest in him until what happened with my daughter."
The accused told the court that during the first incident on February 26, a light illuminating part of the girls' bodies through a window made him think they were "showing off their legs".
When questioned by the complainants' lawyer, he said he'd cut himself shaving and had been often "scratching" his genitals.
Magistrate Jeff Linden said the witnesses had given "fairly consistent" evidence. He deemed all charges proven.
Mr Linden sentenced the offender to a 15-month suspended sentence and ordered a two-year apprehended violence order to protect the complainants. The family has since moved.