April 2017

Pervert commuter, 46, who took hundreds of photos of a 15-year-old choolgirl on a train is slapped with a criminal behaviour order

A pervert commuter has been slapped with a criminal behaviour order after taking hundreds of photographs of a 15-year-old on a train and labelling them ‘sexy schoolgirl’.

Edwin Charles White, 46, was reported to Devon and Cornwall police after the terrified girl complained she was being harassed on a train between Exeter and Barnstaple.

Giles Rowden, prosecuting, said the 15-year-old girl boarded the daily train she takes to Exeter on November 2 last year and realised a man in the seat opposite was snapping her.

He told Central Devon Magistrates Court: ‘She thought his behaviour was unacceptable so she took a photo of him to report the matter to the police.

‘She was clearly alarmed and distressed, so much so that she told her parents and called the police.’

A second victim, aged 21, complained she was being photographed on November 14, and two days later police boarded the train with the younger girl and White, of Woodbury, near Exeter, was arrested.

When police seized his mobile they found 2,900 images of females on his mobile, including 481 of the 15-year-old, which he had captioned ‘sexy schoolgirl’.

There were also 93 images of another female which were labelled ‘sexy girl on train’.

Mr Rowden said: ‘During interview he accepted fully that he had taken photographs on a number of occasions.’

‘He took photos of females he deemed to be pretty, on the train, in public, anywhere really. He accepted it was out of order.’

White pleaded guilty to one offence of harassment between February and November 2016.

He also admitted a second offence of unacceptable behaviour on the railway under the rarely used byelaws 6 and 24 under Section 219 of the Transport Act 2000.

The regulation refers to behaviour on the railway which ‘molested or wilfully interfered with the comfort or convenience of another person’.

White, who represented himself, told the court: ‘All I can say is that I didn’t realise how serious it was until this happened.

‘It won’t happen again – I don’t want to go down this road again.’ 

Magistrates gave him a criminal behaviour order requiring him to do 70 hours unpaid work.

The three-year order also forbids him from taking photographs of any person at any location without their express permission.

The chairman of the bench told him ‘I hope this is a salutary lesson that this behaviour is not acceptable. You have been at this for quite some time.

‘No-one likes pictures taken of them without permission, regardless of looks and where they are – I hope you realise that.’