Leeds bus stop flasher locked up

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A flasher who has preyed on women in Leeds for more than half a century has been locked up over his latest crime spree targeting victims at bus stops in the city.

Pervert Graham Marsden left victims terrified and afraid to use public transport after approaching young women travelling to work or teenage girls going to school.

Leeds Crown Court heard how they were left repulsed or feared for their safety as Marsden exposed himself or behaved indecently in front of them

On one occasion Marsden preyed on a 15-year-old girl on board a bus.

The pensioner also exposed himself to two young women as he stood next to a war memorial.

Marsden, aged 73, has a history of committing offences of indecent exposure or outraging public decency dating back to 1966.

He was jailed for four-and-a-half years today (March 15) after pleading guilty to six offences of indecent exposure, one of outraging public decency and 13 offences of breach of a sexual offences prevention order.

Marsden, from Armley, was also told he must go on the sex offenders register for life.

After his arrest in March last year, Marsden told a probation officer he did not think his behaviour did any harm and claimed some of his victims got a “ kick” out of what he did.

Prosecutor Michael Collins read victim impact statements to the court on behalf of the women.

Some described suffering from anxiety when using public transport and were now in fear when approached by older men.

One teenager said her schoolwork had suffered as a result of what had happened and she lived in fear of seeing him when travelling on a bus.

Charles Blatchford, mitigating, said Marsden accepted that he needed help to address his offending behaviour.

Jailing Marsden, judge Penelope Belcher said: “The fact that you plainly have no regard for the victims is reflected by you continuing to seek sexual gratification in public.

“It is unsurprising that young women feel vulnerable, given what they have experienced.”

Inspector Andy Berriman, who heads the City Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Marsden’s actions caused significant distress to a number of people in a series of offences committed over a very short period of time. A thorough and detailed investigation quickly identified him as the suspect and saw him charged with the offences, which included a number of breaches of his existing Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

“We hope the victims and the wider public will take some reassurance from knowing he has been brought to justice and received a significant prison sentence.

“We are aware that a number of other people witnessed Marsden’s behaviour on that day but didn’t contact the police and we would like to assure people that we treat offences of this nature very seriously and would always encourage people to report offences to us.”

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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