A Southeastern train. Library picture
A railway worker carried out an obscene act near a group of girls travelling home from school on a train.
David Roff, 48, was filmed by another passenger as the train neared Chatham.
Roff, of Lonsdale Drive, Rainham, appeared before magistrates in Medway and pleaded guilty to an act of outraging public decency.
It emerged that he had carried out a similar offence only last year. The court heard how a man got on at Gravesend and sat opposite Roff.
He started filming him on his mobile when he realised what he was doing.
Debbie Jones, prosecuting, said: “There were about six to eight schoolgirls in seats down from where he was sitting.
“The man who got on the train saw him put a hoody over his trousers and saw him flexing and moving.”
When the witness got off the train he sent the footage to British Transport Police.
“Obviously, you need to get yourself some help" - Craig Mackinlay, chairman of the bench
The children had been unaware of what Roff had been doing.
Roff was arrested and admitted the offence but denied he was attracted to 14 or 15-year-olds.
It was also disclosed in court that Roff was still on an 18-month conditional discharge for committing a similar offence in 2012. He admitted the breach while he was in the dock.
Natalie Brown, defending, said: “He fully admitted it and knows it is unacceptable. He regrets his actions and is very sorry.
“He tells me he does not look at girls and is not attracted to them.
“He is a track maintenance worker in London and after this incident was not allowed on the trains between 3pm and 5pm. He wants to put this behind him.
“He is ashamed of his behaviour and his employer may take action. His family are unaware of this incident and he will have to deal with that.”
Magistrates decided to give Roff a 120-day jail term suspended for one year. They also ordered that he carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £85 court costs.
Magistrates also ordered that the conditional discharge Roff was on will continue.
Craig Mackinlay, chairman of the bench, said: “It was in a public place for your own gratification in front of children.
“Obviously, you need to get yourself some help.”
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