Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

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, 16:30

Vandals threw a bench, a sign, large logs and a red bike into the River Sid over the weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:16
The Tour of Britain stage start on Sidmouth seafront in 2013. Bradley Wiggins is pictured centre in the yellow jersey. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 9563-38-13SH

‘The race has just gone up another notch in the thrill stakes’

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss presenting Dom Bess with his cap

CREDIT: @englandcricket

The Sri Lankan under-19s captain was caught out by a Sidford teenager making his international cricket debut last week.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:02
Beautiful Days Festival 2016 at Escot Park, Ottery St Mary

Relatively low levels of reported crime and good deeds at Escot Park, Ottery St Mary, event

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Wendy Spratling with Sidmouth's Fairtrade certificate.

Effort of volunteers pays off.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:57

Police appeal for information after entry was forced through front door

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Devon Air Ambulance helicopter at Sidmouth Rugby Club. Ref exe 6567-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Airborne paramedics could soon be saving lives into the hours of darkness in the Sid Valley after two landing sites were found.

Read more
Mon, 16:16
Area of beach by Bedford Steps was cordoned off while officers worked to identify source of contamination

Partially blocked sewer was cause of pollution that sparked warning

Read more
Mon, 15:59

A coach driver found guilty of dangerous driving, killing a woman from Exmouth and a woman from Newton Poppleford during a day trip to Cornwall in 2014, has been jailed for five years.

Read more
Mon, 15:23
Moments later, rocks cascaded down from above

A surfer warned this man to stay away from the crumbling cliffs at Jacob’s Ladder – just moments before rocks cascaded down.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 16°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

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

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications