Herringswell: Sex pest barred from school buses
A SEX pest who repeatedly sat in the same bus seat so that he could touch the legs of school girls has been branded a “danger” who demonstrated “predatory behaviour” by a judge.
Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court heard how 25-year-old Martyn Mercer, of The Street in Herringswell, near Bury St Edmunds, kept sitting in the same aisle seat of a bus with his arm down and palm out as girls walked past.
Appearing before District Judge David Cooper yesterday, bespectacled Mercer, who is unemployed, was handed a three year community order, required to attend a sex offenders programme and barred from travelling on public transport during school travel hours.
Mercer, who initially denied the offences, later admitted to two counts of sexual touching and asked for five similar offences to be taken into account.
Ian Devine, prosecuting, said: “All the girls were aged between 13 and 15, all school children using this particular bus to travel from their home addresses to their schools.
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“(Mercer) sat in the same seat four seats back from the driver and he would always sit in the aisle seat. When the girls were getting off the bus they all commented that his right hand would be down at his side in the aisle with his palm pointing outwards.
“When they walked past he would deliberately touch their legs above the knee but rarely higher than the outer thigh.”
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In a victim impact statement, one of the girls affected told the court how she now felt “uncomfortable around men” and sometimes avoided going into Bury.
When he was arrested in connection with the offences, which happened in April this year, he initially told police he had his arm down because of overactive sweat glands.
Alan Wheetman, for Mercer, said his client was “somewhat sad rather than bad” and had boarded the bus - a public service bus rather than a school bus - to go into Bury Library to look for work.
Judge Cooper said told Mercer his “predatory behaviour towards young girls does mark you out as a potential danger”.