June 2022

Paedophile who flashed at children and carried out a sex act while sitting on a gravestone

A high-risk paedophile who flashed at children and carried out a sex act while sitting on a gravestone in Aberdeen has been jailed for 30 months.

Serial sex offender Stephen Bell, 62, was also given a further three-year extended sentence in a bid to protect the public from harm.

He was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life after he admitted a series of sexual offences when he appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael said: The nature of the offences and your previous convictions mean a custodial sentence is required for the punishment aspect and to adequately meet societys expectations regarding such offences against children.

Bells solicitor Ian Hingston told the court that his client was in the middle of a course about his sexual interest in young children when he was arrested.

The court was told that he was arrested after carrying out a sex act on a grave after following young girls and engaging them in sexual conversations.

Bell was out on bail at the time despite having previously been jailed for sex offences and being deemed high risk by social workers.

The court heard how he broke off a journey to his partners home to drive to a playpark in Dundee and flash at 10 and eight-year-old girls.

Bell, a prisoner at Perth, admitted making sexual remarks to girls and masturbating while staring at them in the Mill OMains playpark on April 29 last year.

Bell also admitted having indecent images of children in Peterculter and Alloa between January 1 2020 and May 1 2021 and carrying out a sex act in front of two other young girls in Aberdeen between September 1 2020 and February 28 last year.

Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney said:

He has previous convictions involving indecency.

He is managed as a high-risk sex offender by the unit in Aberdeen.

At the time of this, he was on bail with special conditions not to have contact with any child under 16.

On April 29 2021, the girls saw a male staring at them with his penis exposed. He walked over with his penis still exposed and started speaking to them.

He was only a few feet away. He had his penis exposed the entire time.

He had a brown bandage around the middle of his penis, he told the court.

Bell asked the girls: Do you know any good hiding places? Have you ever had sex? Im still waiting on my girlfriend to have sex with me.

Mr Sweeney told the court: The male was touching his penis while talking to them. The girls walked away from him and the male followed them.

Bell kept following the girls until they eventually ran away and reported what they had seen to a parent. Police were then contacted.

When police traced Bell, he was found to have more than 350 abuse images on his mobile phone some featuring babies around 12-months-old.

In the Aberdeen incident, Bell approached two girls aged 11 and started to speak to them about the weather before wandering into an adjacent graveyard.

They went to see what he was doing, Mr Sweeney said. He was sat on a gravestone with his trousers pulled down to his knees and he was masturbating while looking at his mobile phone.