Pervert made covert film of girl on bus

Andrew Threappleton was jailed for filming schoolgirls on his mobile phone.
Andrew Threappleton was jailed for filming schoolgirls on his mobile phone.
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A convicted child sex offender who covertly filmed young girls and made lewd comments has been jailed after police found a compilation of clips on his phone.

Andrew Threappleton, 48, made sickening suggestions to two schoolgirls, aged 12 and 13, on a bus in Cleveleys, Preston Crown Court heard.

He was arrested after a police appeal and officers who seized his phone found a catalogue of disturbing footage of other girls and young women.

Threappleton, of no fixed abode, admitted inciting a child to commit a sexual act and two counts of outraging public decency. He was jailed for 18 months.

The court heard the 48-year-old, whose last known address was in Blackpool, was arrested in May after a photo of him appeared in The Gazette following the incident on the bus on April 21. He has been in jail ever since.

When police went through his phone they found evidence of 11 incidents, six of which were deemed criminal offences.

He could be heard on the footage making lurid comments with the camera trained on his victims’ legs and cleavages.

Judge Andrew Woolman described the behaviour as ‘worrying’. He added: “You deliberately sat behind two girls who were young.

“You were muttering to yourself sexual comments – but some were directed at the girls. I accept by and large you were doing this for the gratification of saying it and the joy of filming it but not believing at any point the girls would do what you asked them to.”

The court heard Threappleton had previous convictions, including child abduction. Jacob Dyer, prosecuting, said the 48-year-old got on the bus after the young girls, who got on near Lauderdale Avenue, who were sitting on the top deck, which was ‘fairly empty’.

He added: “He chose to sit just behind the 12-year-old and he started to mutter things to her, things like ‘get your breasts out’ and ‘have you got your knickers on?’ He had been filming one of the girl’s legs, filming covertly. He can be heard making indecent comments on that footage.”

In a prepared statement, he denied he had said anything.

One of the counts of outraging public decency relates to a clip from January last year where he follows a schoolgirl and tells her to lift up her skirt and ‘show her panties’. The second relates to a clip of two women to whom he makes disgusting remarks to about sniffing them.

Defending, Anthony Longworth said: “He has accepted comments were to be heard by the girls and would inevitably be distressing.”

In 2001, Threappleton was jailed for nine months by Leeds Crown Court for abducting a 14-year-old girl he met in a school playground.

They began a relationship and ended up spending the night together but Threappleton, who admitted child abduction, denied they had sex.

He was given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order banning him using filming equipment on buses.