December 2004

Girl used mobile to catch flasher

A flasher was caught after his schoolgirl victim used her mobile phone to note his van registration.

Driver Paul Stansfield, from Harbottle Court, Byker, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to indecent exposure in front of the 13-year-old on November 4.

Magistrates in North Tyneside heard how Stansfield had been suffering from depression and told police he “lost the plot” as he took a cigarette break from his delivery job.

The youngster had been waiting for her mother to pick her up from school inMonkseaton when 30-year-old Stansfield called her over to his van. She had been having a conversation with her friend on her phone.

As the girl, wearing her school uniform, approached the van, she saw that Stansfield had exposed himself.

The court heard how, as she turned away, the girl heard him laugh before he drove off.

She used the text message facility on her mobile phone to keep a note of the van’s registration number and a description of Stansfield.

The information was used by police to charge Stansfield, who lives with his girlfriend.

He admitted the offence, which he claimed was a spur of the moment decision.

Stansfield, who had been fined for a similar indecent exposure offence, was given a three-year community rehabilitation order and told to pay £200 compensation to his victim. He was placed on the Sex OffendersRegister for five years and ordered to attend a sex offenders’ programme.

Jim Kilpatrick, defending, said: “To say he is ashamed of what he did is a ludicrous understatement.”