A PERVERT bus driver has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for sending child passengers ‘disgusting and offensive’ pictures.
Mark Marriott, aged 43, targeted three girls of 12 and 13, sending indecent images to their mobiles.
One has been left so traumatised she was suicidal and too scared to travel on buses or leave the house.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Marriott used Bluetooth technology to send pictures, meaning he didn’t need the girls’ numbers beforehand.
The driver, of Barlborough Park Caravan Park, Chesterfield, claimed the images were intended for someone else, but when police examined his phone they found a text in which he bragged about the messages.
Judge Simon Lawler QC said he abused his ‘position of responsibility’, adding: “Your victims were young, they were vulnerable and they were targeted. If I did anything other than impose a significant sentence, the public would be outraged.”
Marriott – who served in the Navy for 18 years – has been stripped of his public service vehicle licence and banned from unsupervised contact with under 16s.
David Wain, prosecuting, said in December 2010 Marriott was driving a Stagecoach bus to Crystal Peaks shopping centre when he sent a picture exposing himself to a 13-year-old girl who was with her older brother.
Her brother texted back asking where the message came from, and Marriott replied: “I can see you – I know where you are.”
He struck again last April sending a 12-year-old a pornographic Bluetooth message just after she got off his bus in Sheffield.
He followed up with disturbing texts containing sexual remarks.
The driver sent an indecent image to another 13-year-old while driving the 52 last May, as well as a text saying: “If you’re under 16 I will pay you.”
He was arrested the next day at work and tried to kick his mobile phone under his car.
Marriott pleaded guilty to three counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act.
A Stagecoach spokeswoman said Marriott was dismissed last year when one of the offences came to light and the police began investigating.