A MAN seen by a Chester schoolgirl exposing himself in a car has appeared in court.
Graham Griffiths, 59, pleaded guilty at West Cheshire Magistrates Court yesterday 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 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, of Palace Close, Flint, denied the offence and said he had travelled 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.
Defending, Damien Sabino said Griffiths felt “shame, guilt and remorse” for his actions and said he 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 for the cancer 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 had driven 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 which was in the car had no footage of passers-by on it 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, had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and probation staff who interviewed him had put him 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 ordered him to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60. He was given 14 days to pay the £515.