Man exposed himself on bus next to teenage girls

08:00 17 October 2012

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

Archant

The ‘introvert’ tried to cover himself with a rucksack but was spotted by two teenage girls sat across the aisle from him.

AN Ilfracombe man described as ‘lonely and introvert’ has appeared in court for masturbating on a bus while sat next to two 16-year-old girls.

Ben Spears, 24, of Trinity Court, Ilfracombe, was caught on CCTV masturbating for eight minutes before one of the girls alerted the driver.

The driver of the Stagecoach bus travelling from Ilfracombe to Barnstaple at around 6.50am on September 22 stopped the vehicle and immediately called the police.

Laurence Overend, defending, said: “Mr Spears had no intention that anyone should see his exposed penis.

“He covered himself up as best he could with a rucksack and when the bus driver told him he had called the police he waited patiently for them.

“He has cooperated fully with police and when being booked in said to the custody sergeant, ‘I’ve messed up, I know that I have messed up and I need help’.”

Spears pleaded guilty to committing the offence while subject to a five-year sexual offences prevention order and community order issued by the court on April 26.

He was issued the order after appearing in court for following a woman as she walked home before opening his coat and exposing himself.

The court also heard he had been cautioned in August last year for watching pornography and masturbating in Ilfracombe library.

Spears appeared before North Devon Magistrates on Friday, after spending three weeks in custody.

Ben Winzer, prosecuting, said: “After these previous offences he is now back before the court committing a similar offence in a manner which is more serious.

“Children on public transport are particularly vulnerable because they are in a confined space.”

Magistrates revoked the previous community order made by the court and issued a new one for 12 months with supervision.

A new sexual offences prevention order was also granted to run for five years.

0 comments

Other News Stories

The candidates and hustings chairman. From left: Mark Cann, Steve Crowther, Nick Harvey, Mike Matthews, Peter Heaton-Jones, Gerrard Sables and Catherine Simmons

Join our LIVE North Devon online election hustings from 7pm - 9pm tonight (Thursday) and get your questions answered.

Read more
11 minutes ago
Rodney Cann will stand as a Conservative in the May local elections. Picture: Tony Gussin

Deputy leader of district council will stand for the party he was deselected from at the last election.

Read more
School governors and pupils at the opening of phase two of the Chulmleigh project in September 2014

Good news for North Devon as minister makes Condition Improvement Fund announcement

Read more
09:44
Newport head teacher Andrew Cotton with members of the school’s leadership team, Mo Cann, Sue Gibson and Gillian Courtenay are pictured with pupils representing every year group at the school. Picture: Andy Keeble

Barnstaple primary school earns top praise from Ofsted inspectors.

Read more
09:05
John Balls, the new chairman of North Devon Fishermen's Association.

We caught up with John Balls, the new chairman of North Devon Fishermen’s Association, to see what he thinks about the future of the industry locally...

Read more
11:02

Silver Peugeot in collision near Two Potts

Read more
Waterloo House in Lynton is believed to be the oldest boarding house in the village.

The Grade II listed Waterloo House dates back to 1828 - and is on the market as a bed and breakfast.

Read more
The North Devon and Torridge Green Party launched their election campaign this week

North Devon and Torridge candidates and members come together at Tapeley Park

Read more
Fire engines2

Fire fighters scrambled to Bridgeland Street after reports of alarms sounding and smell of smoke.

Read more
09:00
Sam and Gert-Jan Elshout at their new Ilfracombe pancake bar.

GJ’s Pancake Bar in Wilder Road opens on Saturday, March 28 after expanding the business from Woolacombe.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder