An exhibitionist who took advantage of teenage girls taking the bus to school and masturbated in front of them was saved from jail.
Daniel Molan, 51, walked free from court after exposing himself to up to six young men in Leigh, Greater Manchester, after his lawyer claimed the harm he caused his young victims was “relatively modest”.
He was arrested after one of the victims told his teacher and police reviewed CCTV footage.
One of the girls later said that the incident left her feeling that she ‘judges’ every man she meets and said that she worries on the bus every time a man sits next to her. Another said that she was “scared” by the incident.
Molan, a factory packer from Leigh, Greater Manchester, gave no explanation for his behaviour.
Daniel Molan, 51, exposed himself to the teenage girls and masturbated in front of them but was given a suspended sentence and allowed to leave court (pictured outside Bolton Crown Court)
At Bolton Crown Court, he faced up to three years in prison under sentencing guidelines after he admitted to three offenses of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and two to outraging public decency, but received 22 months in jail. suspended for one year.
His lawyer Paul Treble told the hearing: “He has been open and honest with the probation and psychological report.” He has told me that he is deeply sorry for what he did and is ashamed of it. As a result, parole has said that he is someone they were willing to work with.
‘He has a full-time job and was described by his employer as having a good work ethic. While I’m not denying the seriousness of the crime, the damage is relatively modest.
The court heard that Molan targeted his first 14-year-old victim at 8am in February 2022 as he was walking to his bus stop in Leigh.
Amanda Johnson’s prosecution said: “While waiting for her bus, she noticed the defendant nearby. He was standing and looking at her instead of looking down the road for the bus. At that moment, although she noticed the strangeness of her behavior, she thought little else about it.
‘The defendant then showed him his penis. He stared at her with his penis exposed, trying to get her attention. Fortunately the bus arrived and she quickly boarded. She did not report the matter at the time because she thought it was a one-time incident, but she was the victim of the defendant a second time a week later.
‘Once again, she was at the same bus stop at about the same time. Again the defendant was there, dressed in the same clothes. He again exposed her penis, but this time he began to masturbate in full view of her. The bus arrived and she got on. This time, upon her arrival at school, she informed a teacher of both incidents.
‘In April 2022, after the Easter holidays, she was again at the bus stop. This time the defendant did not expose himself, but he was wearing the same clothes. She was scared and she decided to walk past him, filming him with her phone as she did so.
At Bolton Crown Court, Molan faced up to three years in jail, but received 22 months’ jail suspended for one year.
The video was later turned over to the police. She described how he had made her really uncomfortable and worried where else the defendant might have behaved like this. She was concerned that the younger children had seen him engage in this behavior.
Describing a later incident, Ms Johnson added: “Two 14-year-old girls were on the bus, going to school, and they boarded at Leigh bus station. They were sitting in the back rows.
The defendant also boarded and headed to the rear. He left two empty seats between him and the girls. The girls were with his friend, whose attention was first drawn to the defendant. He nudged her with his leg and she got up and walked away from him.
‘One of the girls could feel that the defendant was looking at her. She turned to look at him and thought he looked weird. It seemed as if she was feeling pleasure. She turned around and put on the headphones.
‘One of the others also felt that she was being watched. She looked at the defendant that she had a bag on her knee and he was looking at her legs. She then saw that he was masturbating and saw her penis exposed to her.
Bolton Crown Court heard several cases where Molan exposed his penis and masturbated in front of teenagers.
Then she called her mother to tell her what was happening. Her mother advised her to report it and then one of the girls went to tell the bus driver that she stopped the bus and she went to challenge the defendant. She removed him from the vehicle and then contacted the police.
One of the girls described being “a little scared” by what had happened, but said she was fine. One of the others was much more affected and she described feeling that she judges all the men she meets. On the bus, when a man gets on behind her, she worries that she sits next to her.
Police conducted investigations and discovered a similar incident in March 2022 involving three school children at Leigh bus station with a similar description of the offender and CCTV footage was viewed by a PC. The defendant was arrested and interviewed on June 13, 2022. He did not comment.
The court heard that the Romanian-born Molan had previous good character.
Sentencing the judge, Mr Recorder Andrew McLoughlin told him: ‘He has attacked girls at school, one in particular was the victim on two separate occasions at the same bus stop near her school. Although she admits that she has the mental strength not to be too affected by the incident, others have unfortunately been more affected.
‘The reasons why he committed these crimes are still unclear, especially considering his age and lack of prior convictions. It’s clear that she needs significant help with his criminal behavior. I believe that he will benefit from this probation intervention and therefore I am convinced that I can suspend his sentence.
A judge told Molan that he suspended the prison sentence because he believes Molan will benefit from the rehab days he will be required to attend.
Molan was also ordered to complete 40 days of rehabilitation activity and 120 hours of unpaid work. She will have to abide by the terms of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and sign the Sex Offender Registry.
It comes as three women, who were shown the eyes of murderous cop Wayne Couzens before he murdered Sarah Everard, warned that crimes of indecent exposure are not treated seriously enough.
Earlier this month, Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Mark Rowley called for a change to the flashing law.
He argues that a soccer fan who scores on a pitch should not be treated in the same way as a sexual predator.
On average, women and girls are subjected to more than 40 attacks of indecent exposure and voyeurism every day.
While Justice Ministry data showed the number of people convicted of indecent exhibition has collapsed in recent years, nearly in half from 810 in 2016 to 435 in 2020.
Lawyer Harriet Wistrich, director of the Center for Women’s Justice, said police were not taking the crime seriously enough: “This type of crime can be an indicator of a more serious, prolific, and sometimes sexual crime.” times, increasing.