Bus flasher is spared jail

12:32 01 April 2014

Pratley was caught on CCTV

Pratley was caught on CCTV

Archant

A self-styled fortune teller who exposed himself to two schoolgirls on a double decker bus was caught after CCTV images were shown on BBC’s Crimewatch.

Mental health patient Daniel Pratley took the sex drug amyl nitrate as he sat on the back seat of the Exeter to Sidmouth bus next to the two 13-year-olds and then opened his trousers.

He had joined the teens on the top deck of the bus and tried to befriend them by telling them he was a gypsy fortune teller who could read their palms.

Pratley was identified after a shot of his face was shown on Crimewatch and recognised by a medical worker who had treated his schizophrenia in the past, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Pratley, 39, of Okehampton, admitted engaging in sexual activity in the presence of children and was jailed for 12 months, suspended for a year, curfewed for three months, and ordered to pay £350 costs.

Judge Phillip Wassall told him: “This was serious offending. You engaged two girls in conversation. They were plainly children on a bus and you committed a sex act in their presence.

“What saves you from immediate custody are your long standing mental health issues which have led you to be detained in hospital for treatment until shortly before this offence.”

Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said the two girls saw Pratley at Exeter bus station as they were boarding the 52A bus to Sidmouth and thought he was homeless. He got on the bus with them and joined them on the back seat of the upper deck.

Miss Eagles said: “He told them he was a traveller and said he could tell fortunes because he was a gypsy and at one point produced a tube and began to inhale from it.”

She said the tube contained amyl nitrate, also known as poppers, and changed his behaviour. He offered the drug to the girls, leant back on the seat and exposed himself. He tried to get one of the girls to touch him but they did their best to ignore him.

Miss Eagles added: “The girls were scared and one described him as weird. They went home and the police were called. The CCTV footage from the bus was shown on Crimewatch in September and two people recognised him including consultant who treated him the previous Christmas.

“The girls found the incident disturbing. They were very scared and one will no longer travel on the top deck of the bus.”

Terry Holder, defending, said Pratley admitted his guilt straight away and his now working with the mental health service to control his schizophrenia more effectively.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:34

Crews from Sidmouth were called to reports of a property fire in the town this morning (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Paramedics are treating a casualty at the scene in Gold Street

Read more
Wed, 16:37
Sidmouth Lifeboat

Sidmouth Lifeboat launched this afternoon (Wednesday) following concerns for the safety of two adults and five children.

Read more
Wed, 11:48

Gypsies are being blocked from occupying land that adjoins East Devon’s Pebblebed Heaths in an ‘unprecedented’ move to protect the environmentally sensitive area.

Read more
Wed, 10:45
The murals at Sidmouth swimming pool car park. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 5931-09-14AW

A full complement of murals depicting life in our seaside resort is in place thanks to the hard work of Sidmouth College artists.

Read more
Wed, 09:25

Police are carrying out enquiries following a vehicle blaze in the early hours of this morning.

Read more
Wed, 06:55
John Vinnicombe with his son Mark on their farmland near Ottery St Mary. Ref sho 4774-30-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A farmer is warning people to be aware of potential dangers on public footpaths after he said a runner caused his cattle to stampede.

Read more
Tue, 15:55
Chris Tucker with the sign for The Mermaid Bar

Forgetting any mythical connotations, mention of The Mermaid evokes one thing for a certain generation – flares, groovy tunes and the most happening place in town.

Read more
Tue, 11:06
an overflowing rubbish bin at Newton Poppleford playing fields. Ref shs 3132-29-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A volunteer who helped secure funding for Newton Poppleford’s play park says parents have a ‘social and moral responsibility’ to clear-up their rubbish.

Read more
Graham Liverton has been a Sidmouth town councillor for 30 years

Sidmouth’s longest-serving town councillor has resigned after 30 years’ service because he found it ‘impossible’ to deal with colleagues who ‘publicly humiliated’ his wife.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition


Devon's trusted business finder