Flasher jailed after he is caught by quick witted student
A flasher has been jailed after a quick-witted university student used her phone to take a picture of his car as he drove away from the scene.
Martin Lewis is a serial sex offender who had just completed a probation run programme which was supposed to stop his behaviour. That was imposed after he exposed himself to two girls on Exmouth seafront.
Exeter Crown Court heard how a shocked student was walking home from lectures in Exeter when she passed Martin Lewis, who showed her a naked picture of himself and invited her into his car.
She walked away in disgust but used her phone to snap Lewis in his grey Mazda and then called the police, who were able to trace him by his number plate.
The court heard Lewis has convictions for sexual assault, downloading indecent images of children, and exposure and was already being investigated by police for breaking a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) by posting naked pictures of himself on Twitter.
Inquiries showed he had carried on looking at child abuse images in the internet when he was attending the sex offenders’ treatment programme.
Lewis, aged 48, of Hookhills Road, Paignton, admitted outraging public decency, three, three counts of making indecent images of children, four of breaching a SOPO, and possession of cannabis and amphetamines.
He was jailed for three years by Judge Erik Salomonsen at Exeter Crown Court, who ordered his SOPO and registration as a sex offender to last for life.
The judge told him: “You have done this before and have done it again. You are at very high risk of further offending and it could escalate. Time and time again you commit further offences and you are beyond the help of the probation service.
“If you come out and commit further offence, you will go back to jail.”
Mr Paul Grumbar, prosecuting, said in September 2017 officers from the public protection unit found images where Lewis had posted naked photos of himself on Twitter, carrying out a sex act.
He was found with three phones, of which two had not been notified to police, which contained almost 300 child abuse images. Of these 26 were in the worst category, showing serious abuse by adults, 50 showed less serious acts, and 211 showed child nudity.
The dates of downloads showed he had been downloading them throughout the time he was on the sex offenders course.
He committed the flashing offence on April 14 this year, while he was released under investigation and police were still analysing his phones.
The court heard that Lewis printed out an A3 photo of himself naked and aroused and showed it to a female student as she passed his parked car in Exeter.
Mr Grumbar said: “The window was wound down and the male inside asked her if she would like to get in. She was concerned and distressed and described herself as being freaked out.
“She took a picture of the vehicle on her mobile phone as she walked away. He drove past and shouted that she should delete the picture she had just taken. She said she was going to call the police.”
Lewis has 26 convictions including two previous offences of downloading child abuse images and two of exposure, the most recent being an incident when he flashed at two girls on Exmouth seafront in 2014. This is his third breach of the SOPO.
Man who exposed himself to two girls on Exmouth seafront found with abuse images on phone
A serial sex offender has been sent on a treatment course to cure his interest in young girls and warned he faces five years in jail if it does not work.
Martin Lewis was already on probation after flashing at two girls on Exmouth seafront when he was caught with images of child abuse on his mobile phone.
The phone was examined during a routine police check which was carried out because Lewis is a persistent sex offender with 25 convictions.
He had started a treatment programme very shortly before his arrest in December and a Judge at Exeter Crown Court decided it was in the public interest he completed it.
Lewis, aged 45, of Hookhills Grove, Paignton, admitted four charges of possessing indecent images of children and was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years by Judge Simon Carr.
He told him: “You know you have an entrenched sexual interest in young girls and you were placed on a sex offenders’ treatment programme in October 2014.
“It has reached the point when you have two options. One is that the course is successful and you address your offending.
“The other is that sentences become increasingly long simply because the only way of controlling your behaviour is for you to be in prison.
“If you come here again I will start at four or five years in addition to this suspended sentence. This case involved a relatively small number of images, so despite your appalling record I am going to suspend it.
“It must be in the public interest to give the treatment course a chance to work. The easiest thing for me to do would be to pass another prison sentence.”
Mr David Bowen, prosecuting, said police checked Lewis’ phone in December during a routine check and found 32 images, of which one showed serious child abuse and eight showed children taking part in sexual activity.
He said at the time Lewis was subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order because he has 25 convictions including sexual assaults, exposure and possessing indecent images.
His last conviction was in October last year at Exeter after he exposed himself to two girls on Exmouth seafront and later claimed he had taken off his trousers because he had spilled a can of coke on them.
Miss Emmi Wilson, defending, said Lewis had only just begun the sex offenders’ course when he was arrested again before it had time to change his attitudes and behaviour.
Man who exposed himself to girls on Exmouth beach claimed he had spilt Coke on his trousers
A man who exposed himself to two girls at a seaside resort claimed he had taken off his trousers because he spilled Coca Cola on them.
Martin Lewis was already a registered sex offender when he drove to Exmouth beach and got out of his car wearing nothing below his waist.
When police intercepted him nearby he was still half naked. He said he has spilt a drink over his trousers but the officer found them totally dry on the back seat.
Lewis was also found to have broken a ban on using the internet and posted an obscene picture on Facebook under the pseudonym Devonguy.
He was banned by a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) from using social media but started accounts on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Lewis, aged 44, of Hookhills Grove, Paignton, admitted three offences of exposure and six of breaching a SOPO. His case was adjourned by Judge Phillip Wassall to enable the prosecution more time to present evidence about posting of indecent an image of himself on social media.
Mr David Bowen, prosecuting, said two young females visiting a beach hut in Exmouth were shocked to see Lewis get out of his car naked from the waist down.
He drove off but came back a few minutes later and did the same thing. Police were called and found him nearby, still in his car.
Mr Bowen said:”The officer approached the car and saw he was again naked from the waist down, thus exposing himself for the third time. He said he had spilt Coke on his trousers but the officer found them in the car and they were dry.
“One of the girls said she was sure Lewis was directing his behaviour towards them. She thought it was weird.”
He said inquiries showed Lewis was subject of a SOPO and had broken its terms by using Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.
Mr Gareth Evans, defending, said the charges he faces for these offences do not include the allegation of posting an image of his private parts on Facebook and merely refer to him breaking the SOPO by using social media.
Judge Wassall said he needed to know why this charge was not before him and adjourned the case for the prosecution to bring it to court.
He said:”This is disturbing behaviour, bizarre and unusual in the extreme. There is reference in the offence analysis about him linking a connection to Facebook with images of him exposing himself.
“This is probably the most aggravating feature and I am not going to be able to deal with this case without this being resolved