'Britain's worst flasher' who has exposed himself 170 times over 51 years, including to women and children, jailed again

28 June 2023, 14:26 | Updated: 28 June 2023, 14:42

Paul Smith has been jailed for six years
Paul Smith has been jailed for six years. Picture: GMP/Alamy

By Kit Heren

A serial pervert dubbed "Britain's worst flasher" has been sent to prison again after exposing himself to passengers on a stationary bus.

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Paul Smith was handed six years in prison for his latest offence, his 170th over more than five decades.

Prolific sex pest Smith has been in and out of court since 1972, when he committed his first flashing offence as a 14-year-old boy.

His other vile crimes include exposing himself to single women on buses and children in their gardens.

Smith has even resorted to putting on disguises over the years, in a bid to hide his identity.

Paul Smith has been jailed again
Paul Smith has been jailed again. Picture: GMP

He was left with severe injuries on one occasion, after vigilantes beat him up when he drove 50 miles from his home in Bolton to flash at children, including a seven-year-old girl.

Smith has offered no explanation for his proclivities, other than claiming his flashing is a reaction to stressful scenarios, and compulsive attention-seeking.

He was arrested again last April after a bus driver spotted him waving his penis at passengers while standing on the street. He claimed he had been running for the bus.

After he was sent to prison again at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday, detective inspector John Chatterton, of Greater Manchester Police’s sex offender management unit , said: "Incidents such as these can cause real distress to any victim and Paul Smith subjected many innocent people to his indecent acts.

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Smith was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court
Smith was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court. Picture: Alamy

"Everyone should feel safe to use public transport and this type of behaviour is completely inappropriate and can impact someone’s personal sense of security.

"The tireless work our offender managers commit to each day has led to Paul Smith serving a lengthy jail sentence.

"This involves a number of proactive tactics and the management of stringent conditions whilst in the community. This reinforces GMP’s commitment to reducing harm and keeping people safe."

Shelagh Fogarty explores the attitudes people have towards 'so-called flashing'

In mitigation, Smith's defence lawyer Jane Greenhalgh said, "Mr Smith simply cannot stop himself offending in this fashion. It is a frustrating case because it is clear that the defendant cannot effect any sense of self control over his actions. He tells me this is his reaction to stressful scenarios.

"He has had a lifelong struggle with this behaviour. He has fully accepted the impact of his offending and did not seek to minimise it at any point. He is unemployed and has been caring for his father for a number of years.:

He also received court orders and a mandatory therapy programme, including remaining on the sexual harm prevention order for life and must sign the sex offender register.

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