A MAN who exposed himself to a 14-year-old girl after asking her for directions has been given a suspended prison term.

James Tomlinson, 31, initially denied a charge of exposure but pleaded guilty on the day he was due to stand trial in Herefordshire. The case was sent to Workington Magistrates’ Court for sentence.

Prosecutor Pamela Fee said the 14-year-old victim had been in the car with her mother and brother in Herefordshire on February 18 last year.

The victim’s brother was learning to drive and she felt ‘apprehensive’ about this so got out of the car to walk home. While doing so, Tomlinson stopped his vehicle and asked her for directions.

Tomlinson seemed to be ‘drawing out the conversation’, asking numerous questions. The victim started to feel uncomfortable and was aware he was doing something in his lap.

He then made a comment to her, along the lines of ‘what do you think of this?’ She saw he had his genitals exposed and was carrying out a sex act. 


The victim felt ‘very frightened’ and thought the defendant was going to follow her. She shouted but there was no one around. She got to her house just as her mother and brother pulled onto the drive.

The incident, which took place in Ross-on-Wye, was investigated by police and Tomlinson was identified from an ID procedure. He accepted that he had been present on the road but denied that he had exposed himself.

Ms Fee said the offence was aggravated by the vulnerability of the victim due to her age and the fact he had targeted her because she was alone.

Tomlinson, who was not legally represented, said he would lose his job if he was sent to prison.

He told the court: “It’s been a real ordeal. I’m sorry the girl has had to go through this experience.

“I want to get my life back on track. I have got a partner and we want to look to the future and do things with our lives.”

Tomlinson, of Newlands Lane, Workington, was sentenced to 23 weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months.

He must complete 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay £500 in costs and a £154 victim surcharge.

Tomlinson was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.