September 2020

Pervert caught filming children in Sunderland Poundland store found with videos of him ‘exposing himself’ to five-year-old

A pervert made covert video recordings of children he followed around town and had footage of him exposing himself to a five-year-old.

Sean Duffy was caught when he was spotted filming two sisters, aged 13 and 10, who were in Poundland during a shopping trip in Sunderland with their grandad in October 2018 and admitted he was “sick in the head”

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 52-year-old’s phone and electronic devices were seized and police discovered a sickening collection of 129 images of child abuse that he had downloaded.

Prosecutor Liam O’Brien told the court more shocking footage was found after further investigation by officers and added: “They found ten videos which appeared to have been filmed by the defendant, of young children in local places, supermarkets and the like.”

Mr O’Brien said one of the videos was “particularly disturbing” and featured boys who looked around five and eight years old and were spoken to by Duffy.

The court was told they then looked down and walked way looking “shocked”.

Mr O’Brien added: “The Crown’s case, now accepted, is that the video is a recording of the defendant indecently exposing himself to these young children.”

The court heard that the children featured in the ten videos have never been identified by police.

The sisters who were videoed in Poundland were tracked down and their grandfather said what happened was an “outrage”.

Their mother said in a statement she was “really annoyed” and felt “scared and worried” about letting her children go out again.

She added: “They should be safe to go to town centre shops.”

Duffy, of Harlow Street, in the Millfield area of Sunderland, admitted two offences of outraging public decency and one of making indecent photographs of children.

Judge Tim Gittins sentenced him to a community order for three years with rehabilitation requirements and sex offender group work programme.

Duffy must abide by a sexual harm prevention order and sign the sex offender’s register for five years.

The judge said Duffy’s behaviour was “worrying” and added: “You went on to have contact with children, not physical contact but following them, recording them and on one disturbing occasion approached a five and eight year old, recording them while you made reference to the fact you were exposed.”

Judge Gittins said despite Duffy’s “disgusting and disturbing” behaviour, punishment and rehabilitation in the community was the most constructive sentence and told Duffy: “I take the view it is the appropriate way to ensure the safety of children going forward and to reduce the risk that you pose.”