June 2017

Gateshead pervert jailed for touching himself in front of schoolgirl on Sunderland bus

Pervert Robert English targeted a lone girl on her way home from school.

Serial sex offender English was already banned from contacting children after indecently assaulting a 14-year-old on a bus.

But that didn’t stop him from approaching a 13-year-old in school uniform as she headed home at a transport interchange.

The 54-year-old, from Gateshead, repeatedly asked the girl what time it was and tried to engage her in chat while touching himself, a court heard.

The girl put her headphones on, moved away and contacted her mum but was left unsettled and worried about getting the bus in case she sees him again.

Now English, who was traced on CCTV, has been sent back to prison after he admitted breaching his sexual offences prevention order.

Judge Tim Gittins, at Newcastle Crown Court, told him: “You approached and repeatedly spoke to a 13-year-old schoolgirl in school uniform and all the while you were rubbing your crotch.

“It was deeply unsettling, unpleasant and uncomfortable for her to witness.

“She had the good sense to move seats, put in her headphones and she also, to her credit, alerted her mother immediately as to what was going on.

“What you have done is to leave her wary of being on public transport and wary of lone men and their motives in speaking to her.”

In February this year, the girl was heading home after school and went to Park Lane bus station interchange in Sunderland. As she waited at the stop she became aware of English.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: “She noted at that stage he appeared to have a pouch or black material, like a pocket turned inside out, pulled through the zip of his trousers, about the size of a large orange.

“He again asked the time and was rubbing his groin area up and down with his hand.

“He asked her a further five times what the time was and she began to feel uncomfortable with his behaviour.”

When the bus pulled in she went and sat at the back and he chose to sit adjacent to her even though the bus had plenty of spare seats.

He again engaged her in conversation with her, asking how old she was and when she wouldn’t tell him he asked how long she had left at school.

Mr Bunch said: “She was uncomfortable and she put her headphones in to give the impression she was listening to music.

“She said throughout the time she was sat next to him he had his legs wide open and appeared to be rubbing his groin area.

“So uncomfortable was she that before the bus left the bus station she got up and moved further down the bus.

“Before the bus left, the defendant got off the bus.”

The girl had texted her mum, who contacted police. English was arrested days later after CCTV was checked.

The girl said in a victim impact statement: “I’m worried about getting the bus because I would hate to see him again. He made me feel uncomfortable.

“I would like this man to be arrested and not to have contact with any children.”

English, of Bensham Court, Gateshead, has several previous convictions for sex offences including indecent exposure in 1998, gross indecency with a child in 2004, sexual assault of a child in 2007, exposure in 2009 and 2010 and sexual assault of a 14-year-old on a bus in 2014.

He was given 12 months with an extended licence period of five years for that offence, plus the sexual offences prevention order which he has now breached.

He has already been recalled to prison for that and may not be released until October 2019.

For the latest offence he was jailed for 14 months and was told his sex offender registration and the sexual offences prevention order will continue.

 

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