A man has been banned from travelling on trains with a newspaper on his lap after he performed sex acts in front of young women. David Gilbert, 70, got his kicks by masturbating in front of young women on the train during a ten year reign of terror. He trawled the tracks looking for likely victims and wasn't worried by CCTV cameras now standard on SouthEastern trains. His method was to place a newspaper above his crotch and he would ensure his victim knew what he was doing. Gilbert, of Margate, Kent, was jailed for 150 days in 2011 and was cautioned in 2006 but that didn't stop him.He admitted three charges of outraging public decency at Margate Magistrates Court on Monday.
Toren Kuti, prosecuting, said the first offence was when a 25 year old woman was sitting on late night train on October 13.
Miss Kuti said: "The carriage was virtually empty and she was reading her book. After Bromley South she could feel the nearby seats shaking. She looked over and could see the defendant masturbating under a newspaper. She felt very uncomfortable.He looked at her and then he covered himself. She got off at Chatham and reported it a couple of days later."
On November 5 a 19-year-old girl was on the Faversham to Margate service when Gilbert got on the train.
Miss Kuti said: "He was sitting by the window. He boarded at Chestfield or Herne Bay. She became aware of paper rustling. She saw a man stretched out on a seat. A newspaper was on his lap, this made her suspicious. She faced the window and then she realised what he was doing.
"It made her feel horrible and she got off at Margate."
On January 26 he was on a high speed train heading towards Gravesend. A 23-year-old woman saw him staring at her.
Miss Kuti said: "She saw him physically shaking. As he was doing this he was staring directly at her. She felt shocked and uncomfortable."
In a victim impact statement the 19-year-old said: "When I got home I felt disgusted. I was so upset having to tell my mum. I couldn't sleep and didn't want to get on the train. I was terrified I might see him again. I'm constantly looking for danger. I'm still very worried. When people look at me I look away. My family is very angry at what he has done."
Gilbert was identified from previous CCTV recordings.
Natasha Spreadborough, defending, said: "He acknowledges he has a huge problem.His repressed feelings are manifesting themselves in a most inappropriate way.
"It is incredibly worrying for the young ladies who are subject to his behaviour. Custody didn't work previously he should be put on a specialist programme."
Chairman of the Bench Jan Cannon gave Gilbert three consecutive 150 day prison sentences suspended for two years and ordered him to attend a rehabilitation programme.
She said: "We are extremely concerned about the history of your offending in the last 10 years and what you have done to young women. What makes it worse is this has been going on for 10 years. Young women have been embarrassed, frightened and distressed."
Gilbert was given a 8pm-7am curfew and is not allowed to sit on a train with a newspaper over his lap. He was ordered to pay £85 costs and £80 victim surcharge.
Mrs Cannon said: "If you fail to comply you could go to prison for up to five years."
She ordered him to pay each of the women £100 compensation.