A mum used Facebook to track down a pervert who exposed himself to her 12-year-old daughter in the street.
Adam Stevenson, 33, approached the girl as she waited for a bus in Fence Houses, Houghton, before asking for the time.
I can only say again that this is a particularly unsavoury, disgusting offence which Mr Stevenson is not proud of.Defence solicitor Robin Ford
As the girl checked her phone, he undid his trousers, showing his genitals to the child. He then propositioned the youngster, who screamed and ran away.
The terrified girl told her mother of her ordeal, giving her a description of the man, who had been wearing his work uniform which had a name badge with “Adam” on it.
The mum scoured the area to try to find him before using Facebook to track him down and she saw his picture on the social networking site.
After her daughter identified Stevenson from the picture, she contacted police and he was arrested and charged.
Prosecutor Glenda Beck told a hearing at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court: “The injured party was stood at the bus stop in Station Avenue, in north Fence Houses, on the evening of May 1.
“The bus was running late. A man walked past the bus stop a couple of times and then said to her “have you got the time?”
“She looked at her phone and replied that it was 18.46.
“The injured party turned back around and heard the man cough. She then saw that his genitals were exposed and he was moving his hand backwards and forwards.
“She was upset and ran off.”
After being told about the incident, the girl’s mum searched the area and contacted police.
The mum then told police that she had shown a photograph of her daughter on Facebook of Stephenson, who the girl identified as being the person who exposed himself.
Ms Beck added that after being arrested, Stevenson, who is married with a child, initially denied the offence during interview, saying he was working at his job at a pet crematorium in Langley Park, County Durham, at the time.
Later on in questioning, Stevenson asked officers: “What will happen if it was me?”
He then admitted exposing himself to the girl, saying it was a “stupid, stupid thing to do”, also adding that he thought she was “16 or 17 years old” and showing his genitals might “excite her”.
Stevenson, of St Michael’s, Chilton Moor, Houghton, admitted exposure at an earlier hearing. He has now lost his job.
Robin Ford, mitigiating, said: “It’s very difficult as a father with two children to try and be positive about the offence, and I can’t.
“But I can be positive about the offender.
“There is a reference from a serving soldier, from his former employers and from his wife.
“There was no logical reason for what had taken place.”
Mr Ford added that the statement from Stevenson’s wife revealed the defendant currently faces “a multitude of family issues”.
“It’s a guilty plea at the earliest possible opportunity,” said Mr Ford.
“I hope you don’t take any issue with his initial protestations.
“It was a self-defence mechanism because halfway through, he crumbled.
“I can only say again that this is a particularly unsavoury, disgusting offence which Mr Stevenson is not proud of.”
Chairman of the bench Mr Hughes sentenced Stevenson to a three-year community order with 60 hours’ worth of rehabilitation activity requirement.
He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £85, a victim surcharge of £60, £500 compensation to the victim and £180 in court costs.
The mum of Adam Stevenson’s victim says her child has been left traumatised by his exposure towards her.
Speaking after Stevenson was sentenced to a three-year community order and ordered to pay a total of £825, the woman told the Echo: “I don’t think it’s enough. He is still free to do what he wants and who’s to say he won’t do it again?
“My daughter is still sleeping in my bed because she’s so petrified.
“She’s scared to go out as much as she used to and I don’t know how long it’s going to keep affecting her.”