Man guilty of 'upskirting' offences, including two schoolgirls on bus, given suspended prison term

A man who tried to film up the skirts of two unsuspecting schoolgirls on a bus has been handed a suspended prison term – and a mobile phone use ban.

Martyn George, 49, of Southcroft, Fatfield, Washington, also ‘upskirted’ a woman shopper in a Washington supermarket on the same day.

His crimes came to light when staff at the store grew suspicious and confronted him, leading to his arrest and a forensic search of his phone.

It revealed footage of him positioning his device to see up the schoolgirls’ skirts and up the top of the shopper.

Martyn George leaving South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

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District Judge Zoe Passfield has prohibited him from owning any electronic device which can video or take photos.

At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, Judge Passfield said it was “concerning” he also had a police caution for a similar act in 2016.

Jailing George for eight months but suspending the sentence for 15 months, she told him: “These are serious offences.

“It’s aggravated by the fact the offence was committed twice on the same day and one of those was schoolgirls.

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“Young girls in school uniform travelling on public transport should feel safe.”

Prosecutor Clare Irving said George came to close for comfort to the customer on Thursday, June 30.

She said: “The defendant is seen walking closely behind a female who is dressed in a pair of black lycra leggings and black bomber-style jacket.

“He followed her as she moved and got his phone out from under his coat. The assistant alerted the manager who contacted the police.

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“He told the police he was taking voyeurism photos.”

Mrs Irving said checks of his phone revealed the footage of the unidentified schoolgirls, adding: “It showed the acts of upskirting.

“One was of the woman and shows him lowering his phone. He is also on a seat next to two schoolgirls.

“He alters his phone when they move their skirts and leave the bus to get the best view that he could.

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“He was interviewed and said it was for his own sexual gratification and for his own fetishism.

“He said that it was wrong and stupid, and that he regretted his actions.”

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “There’s recognition on the part of the defendant that he needs help and intervention.

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“He is a gentleman who is genuinely ashamed of his behaviour. He’s also a gentleman who can show that he can refrain from offending behaviour for a period of time.

“It’s only since the commission of these offences that he’s stood back and realised that he needs help.”

George was jailed for eight months for each offence, to run concurrently, and he must complete 55 rehabilitation days with the Probation Service.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for five years and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for two years.

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He must pay a £187 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.