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'Shame and guilt' of Flint man over sex act in car

Published date: 15 July 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MAN who was seen by a schoolgirl pleasuring himself in a car has been fined.

Graham Griffiths, 59, of Palace Close, Flint, pleaded guilty at West Cheshire Magistrates Court to two counts of exposure.

The court heard that early in the morning on March 28 a girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on her way to school saw a man inside a gold coloured Land Rover pleasuring himself on City Road, Chester.

Prosecuting, Lionel Cope said the girl was “shocked” to see the man carrying out a sex act on himself and she was “worried about younger girls from her school seeing the same thing”.

Mr Cope said the girl walked away from the car and found a passing police officer and pointed the officer in the direction of the car.

In interview Griffiths denied the offence and said he had gone to Chester after a long shift at work to buy a bicycle for his wife and was waiting for the shops to open.

He told officers he was messing around with a camera in the car while he was waiting but denied filming passers-by and denied the offences.

Mr Cope said Griffiths then admitted the offences on his first court appearance at West Cheshire Magistrates Court on June 4.

Damien Sabino, defending, told the Chester court Griffiths felt “shame, guilt and remorse” for his actions.

Griffiths, he said, now had to rebuild the trust of his family and community and he was also in fear of losing his job because of his actions.

Mr Sabino said Griffiths had been suffering from depression for a number of years after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Mr Sabino said the treatment had seemingly been successful and Griffiths was in remission but the diagnosis and treatment had left a “significant physical and mental impact”.

On the day of the incident, Mr Sabino said, Griffiths drove to Chester after a long shift at work to buy a bicycle for his wife and had arrived before the shop had opened. He said the camera in the car had no footage of passers-by and was not used to follow females walking past and Mr Sabino said Griffiths had not made eye contact with anyone walking past which showed he was not intending to get sexual gratification out of being in a public place.

Mr Sabino also pointed out Griffiths was of previous good character and after interviews with probation staff he had been put at a low risk of re-offending.

Magistrates fined Griffiths £370 for exposure and gave him a six-month community order with supervision. They also told him to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60. He was given 14 days to pay £515.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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