Jail for Sunderland bus station pervert who left schoolgirls 'scared, sick and shocked'

Andrew Cooper carried out a sex act in front of schoolgirls.
Andrew Cooper carried out a sex act in front of schoolgirls.

A serial flasher has been jailed after carrying out a sex act in front of school girls at a busy Sunderland bus station.

Drunk Andrew Cooper was spotted by a witness at Park Lane Interchange, walking behind a group of school girls.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the witness thought the 38-year-old, who was staggering around, was following the girls and observed what was going on.

He saw Cooper sit on the ground, next to where the girls had stopped, and move his head to one side as if he was looking up one of their skirts.

The court heard how one of the girls looked at the defendant as he carried out a sex act and they moved away.

When Cooper walked after them, the witness phoned the police.

A 13-year-old girl also saw him undo his trousers as he looked at girls next to him.

Police found Cooper, clearly under the influence of alcohol, and arrested him.

Neil Pallister, prosecuting, told the court: "The defendant made a full and frank admission in interview.

"He stated he was sexually attracted to females in uniform and he had done this before.

"He said, 'What I have done today was horrible'."

Mr Pallister told the court how the 13-year-old witness said she felt "scared, sick and shocked" at what she witnessed.

The court heard how Cooper has previous offences for exposure.

In December 2015, he was convicted of exposure and outraging public decency after taking his clothes off in the toilets of a Mcdonalds and walking naked through the restaurant.

Lee Fish, defending, told the court: "Mr Cooper is realistic, he realises a custodial sentence is inevitable.

"The defendant readily accepts that his behaviour is indecent. It's not normal and it's something that should not happen, and he readily accepts that.

"He has demonstrated a level of insight into his offending and the impact it can have on others.

"These offences have been committed when he has been heavily intoxicated.

"He informs me he hates the person he has become, he is currently motivated to confront the person he has become and attempt to understand why he behaves in this way."

Cooper, of Roker Avenue, Sunderland, admitted outraging public decency.

Judge Deborah Sherwin told him: "I give you credit that you have seen a degree of insight into your offending and what you do is wrong.

"I accept that you know enough to know it's wrong, and I accept that you know enough that you're disgusted with yourself at what you do.

"It seems to me your position is worse when you drink alcohol and that's when you offend.

"You are someone who lacks confidence, who has mental health problems set out in the pre-sentence report.

"You know enough to know you shouldn't be engaging in this behaviour."

Judge Sherwin sentenced Cooper to eight months in prison. He must also abide by a sexual harm prevention order.

Andrew Cooper admitted carrying out a sex act in front of schoolgirls at Park Lane Interchange in Sunderland.

Andrew Cooper admitted carrying out a sex act in front of schoolgirls at Park Lane Interchange in Sunderland.