July 2021

Sex offender who exposed himself to teenage girls in Ellesmere Port sentenced

A sex offender who exposed himself to three teenage girls in Ellesmere Port has been handed a suspended sentence.

Previously, a jury at Chester Crown Court unanimously found Thomas James Powell, 30, of Wilkinson Street, had intentionally exposed himself on two separate occasions in 2019 to vulnerable girls aged 16 or under, following a three-day trial.

Prosecuting, Ryan Rothwell had told the jury the victims in the case were a 16-year-old girl and two 14-year-old girls at the time of the offences. None of the victims can be named for legal reasons.

The court heard the 16-year-old girl did not know the 14-year-old girls, and vice versa.

One of the offences happened in May 2019, in broad daylight, as the 16-year-old girl was pushing a relative’s baby in a pram in St Andrews Road.

Powell rode towards the girl on his bike, went behind her and said: “I think you might want to see this.”

The girl turned around and saw Powell had exposed himself, and had a “weird smirk” on his face.

Giving evidence in court, the girl said she had replied with a dirty look, told him “no”, and moved away from him before contacting the police.

The second incident happened in the evening, two months later, when two girls were on their way to a fast food restaurant.

They had previously seen Powell on his bike, wearing a long coat with a fur-rimmed hood, pass by a few minutes earlier.

Powell then approached the two girls from behind, again on his bike, and exposed himself to both of them.

One of the girls later said in interview she could not understand why someone would do that to girls of their age, and felt “disgusted”.

One hour later, one of the two girls went into the Ohri Convenience Store on Bunbury Green, only to find Powell was there with his bicycle.

She told the other girl, who had been telling a woman in a takeaway shop about what had happened earlier, and all three went into the store.

CCTV footage showed the woman speaking to Powell, who rode off on his bike.