May 2022

Leigh paedo followed girl on Southend bus to commit sex offences

A “predatory” paedophile sexually touched a schoolgirl, exposed his private parts, and carried out a sex act on a bus in a Southend.

Jonathan Bearcroft, of Mansell Close, Eastwood, was also found to have taken 20 upskirting images when police searched his electronic devices.

The 39-year-old was jailed for three years at Basildon Crown Court yesterday for the incident on October 12 last year.

Prosecuting, James Onalaja, said: “The victim saw him touching his trousers and rubbing his private parts and he followed her onto the bus in Southend.

“As he boarded, he touched her buttocks and he then sat near her and was recording her as he took out his private parts and began a sex act.

“She facetimed a friend and both of them took images of him which helped with his arrest.

“When police searched his address they found clips of scenarios similar to that incident on the bus. They also found 20 images of up-skirting and images of him doing the similar acts too.”

Summarising the victim’s impact statement to the court, he said: “She second guesses her routes when out and looks over her shoulder often.

“She said having males behind her feels weird and makes her feel on edge.”

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Hurst, said: “This was a deliberate sexual touching and you sexualised the girl in a hostile way.

“I reject efforts by you to attribute your offending to drug use and I have not seen this in a case like this before.”

He was sentenced to three years in prison and four years extended licence after being charged with engaging in sexual activity in presence of a child 13 to 15, exposure, taking an indecent photograph of a child and possessing an indecent photograph of a child.