June 2016

Sex offender jailed after attacking teenage girls as they travelled on buses


A registered sex offender who attacked two teenage girls as they travelled on buses in Blackburn has been jailed.

Preston Crown Court heard pervert Gregory Murphy struck twice within the space of an hour, preying on the two 16-year-old school girls on the number one bus in Blackburn.

One teenager fled to McDonalds, terrified she was going to be raped.

The other watched as Murphy turned his attention from her and her friends to a group of younger teenagers, who he followed off the bus.

At the time of the sex attacks on May 8, Murphy was serving a suspended prison sentence for attacking another teenage girl on a bus in Bolton.

Judge Pamela Badley, sentencing, said: “These young women were catching buses for their own lawful purposes and you interfered with their right to do so without hindrance.

“Why, at the age of 40, you have found it more difficult to control yourself is something I really can’t go into.”

The court heard the first youngster, who can not be named for legal reasons, was travelling alone at around 8pm when Murphy came up behind her and grabbed her bottom, thrusting his groin towards her.

As the teenager stepped off the bus she noticed Murphy leave behind her and ran into McDonalds for her safety.

But by 8.40pm Murphy was at Blackburn bus station where he sat beside a group of teenagers on a bench, despite there being several other benches free in the area, the prosecution said.

One of the teenagers felt uncomfortable that Murphy was sitting so close and got up to check the timetable, in a bid to put some distance between her and the pervert.

But the prosecution said when she sat down again, Murphy sidled up to be close again and touched her on her bottom.

The youngster thought Murphy was trying to steal from her but when he touched her again she and her friends got on the bus only to be followed by Murphy.

The 40-year-old sat close to the 16-year-olds but when a group in their early teens got on the bus, his attention turned to them and he got off the bus at the same stop.

Two days later the youngsters reported the incident to the police and Murphy was arrested, the court heard.

Murphy, of Gladstone Street, Great Harwood, said he could not remember the attacks as he had been drinking and had not taken his medication but when faced with CCTV evidence he did not dispute what was said about him.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and was sent to the higher court to be sentenced.

Judge Badley said: “Pests like you take advantage of people, you know decent people are reluctant to go to the authorities.

“On a previous occasion you have been given the opportunity – undoubtedly because you pleaded guilty and expressed remorse.

“The time has come when this has to be an immediate sentence of custody.

“Young women and all people who are taking public transport should be protected from people like you who are looking at them as sexual victims.”

She jailed Murphy for 12 months and activated three months consecutively of his previous suspended sentence.