July 2016

Croydon pervert who molested schoolgirls on buses now won’t spend as long in jail

A pervert from Croydon who molested schoolgirls on buses has had his jail term slashed by judges.

Darren Carl, 52, of Goodhew Road, was jailed for 25 months at Croydon Crown Court on April 11 this year.

He admitted sexual assault and breaching a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO)

In May 2014, he had been locked up for 12 months for eight offences in relation to sexual assaults on schoolgirls on buses.

The 10-year SOPO banned him from sitting or standing next to females, aged 16 or under, on public transport.

But in October 2015, Carl sat next to two girls – aged 12 and 13, who were wearing school uniform – on a bus, Judge Neil Bidder QC told London’s Appeal Court.

That was despite there being empty seats available elsewhere on the vehicle.

As they got up to leave, he moved his leg so the younger girl could pass.

But he then moved it back to obstruct her friend and she was forced to “squeeze past him”.

As she did so he “grabbed her right buttock and thigh area”.

The “traumatised” victim was unable to travel by bus for three months.

Carl’s lawyers argued yesterday that his jail term was far too tough and ought to be cut.

They pointed out that he recognised he had “an attraction to young girls” and had visited his GP and a psychiatrist.

He avoided going out at times when children would be travelling to and from school, the court heard.

Judge Bidder said what Carl did was a “deliberate flouting” of the SOPO.

But it was his first breach and he had made efforts to avoid encountering schoolgirls, he added.

The judge, who was sitting with Mr Justice Openshaw, agreed the jail term was “manifestly excessive”.

They reduced Carl’s sentence to 18 months.

Judge Bidder reminded Carl that a revised 10-year SOPO remains in place, banning him from public transport altogether.

He “must not board or travel on any form of public transport while that order is in force”, said the judge.