April 2009

Sex pest cameraman in second girl assault

Sex pest Eric Bell has been convicted again of molesting a young girl.

The amateur photographer with a previous conviction for a sex offence has been made the subject of an intensive community order after he molested a 14-year-old girl.

It emerged that 48-year-old Bell had an identical previous conviction for a sexual offence on a female dating back to the late 1990s.

A decade ago Bell, of Kingsley Avenue, Lockwood, was put on probation for three years and ordered to do 100 hours community work after he touched a woman on the breast when he was supposed to be photographing her.

Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that in December 2007 Bell booked time in a studio after claiming he wanted to take photographs of the teenage girl so she could give them as a Christmas present to her mother.

Prosecutor Jonathon Devlin said that after taking photos in the studio Bell took the teenager back to his home on the pretext of taking more pictures, but while there he took off her top exposing her breasts.

“She was scared and frightened something else would happen,” said Mr Devlin.

He said Bell kissed one of the girl’s breasts and also grabbed her breasts from behind.

The teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, reported the incident when she got back home, but Bell did not admit the offence of sexual activity with a child until his case was listed for trial last month

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC described Bell as a man of good character in every respect except for his tendency to touch his victims while pretending to photograph them.

“I have to ask myself is it better to use a prison place for the five or six months that you would be in it for – if I had my way – or is it better to give you to the experts who treat those with your predilection and who have had some success,” said Judge Durham Hall.

The judge imposed a three-year supervision order on Bell with a condition that he must take part in a sex offender programme.

Bell must also register as a sex offender with the police for the next five years and will also have his contact with youngsters under 16 restricted by a five-year sexual offences prevention order.

The court heard the Bell operated a mobile disco and Judge Durham Hall emphasised that he must not get involved with parties for youngsters.