Bus driver, 29, who molested schoolgirls as young as 13 at bus stops while he was working faces jail
- Mark Spalding, 29, sexually assaulted and groomed two girls aged 13 to 15
- Court heard Spalding abused two schoolgirls from Brighton, East Sussex
- Spalding, from Brighton, changed his plea to guilty at last minute last week
- Family member of victim said she was ‘broken’ when she heard allegations
‘Evil’: Mike Spalding, 29, is pleading guilty to abusing schoolgirls while he was a bus driver
A bus driver who molested schoolgirls as young as 13 while he was working is facing prison.
Mark Spalding, 29, sexually assaulted and groomed two girls aged 13 to 15 over a period of two years as well as abusing two adult students.
The ‘evil’ driver, who worked for Brighton and Hove Buses, targeted the teenagers while his bus sat idly at stops around the East Sussex area.
A court heard Spalding abused two schoolgirls from Brighton, East Sussex, and two foreign students.
Lewes Crown Court, East Sussex, also heard he sent his victims messages by text and through Facebook.
Spalding, from Brighton, initially denied multiple sexual abuse charges but changed his plea ahead of his trial this month, meaning his victims do not have to give evidence.
A family member of one of his victim’s said: ‘It broke me when I was told where he touched her.
‘I left the room, it was all I could take. She was 14.
‘I felt like I’d failed to defend my family.’
Spalding admitted two counts of sexual activity with a child aged between 13 and 14 and one count of causing or inciting that child to engage in sexual activity.
He also admitted the same three charges concerning a child aged between 14 and 15 and to two sexual assaults on women.
Judge Shani Barnes said during the hearing Spalding can expect to receive a custodial sentence next month and bailed him after hearing he acts as a carer for his mother who has dementia.
She also said: ‘These are very serious offences which took place over a period of two years.’
The family of one of his victims said they ‘broke down with relief’ when informed their daughter would not have to give evidence.
Lewes Crown Court heard he abused the victims at bus stops in Devil’s Dyke, Lewes Road and Falmer, all East Sussex.
The conditions of his bail forbid him from taking public transport, contacting his victims or their families and having any deliberate contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Martin Harris, director of Brighton and Hove Buses, issued a statement after the court hearing. He said: ‘We co-operated fully with the police investigation.
‘Since then we have introduced a safeguarding policy and a number of safeguarding measures.’