A FORMER soldier performed a sex act at his window in view of two school girls at a nearby bus stop.

Alan Smith, 54, was jailed for 16 months, after a court heard that one of the girls revealed she had seen him doing something similar while previously waiting at the stop.

Following the further incident, on Thursday November 29, Smith then went to his door to wave at the girls when they boarded the bus.

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Paul Lee, prosecuting, told Durham Crown Court that when the older girl got home later she told her mother what she had seen.

Smith was arrested and when interviewed he admitted he had been drinking a three-litre bottle of cider from about 6.30am that day.

He told police he could not recall doing the act, although he said he did remember seeing school girls standing at the bus stop.

Mr Lee said Smith’s previous convictions include offences of indecent assault on a female under 14 and gross indecency with a child, both dating from the 1990s.

Smith also remains subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order forbidding him having any child anywhere he is living, until September 4, 2015.

Andrew Petterson, mitigating, said since leaving the Army in 1983, Smith has been in employment “intermittently”.

Mr Petterson said Smith’s offending coincides with periods when he is drinking heavily.

The latest incidents took place after he ended a seven year “drink free” period last year.

On the day of the incident he had been drinking cider, mixed with the effects of anti-depressant pills which he was prescribed at the time.

“As a result he has little or no recollection of this offence,” added Mr Petterson.

Smith, formerly of Ennerdale Drive, in Crook, County Durham, admitted two counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Jailing him, Recorder Alistair MacDonald told Smith: “It’s perfectly clear you have a problem with alcohol and when you have been drinking you seem to relate to children sexually.

“It’s clear that you had been drinking from early on the morning of the offence.

“I do note that one child didn’t report your activities immediately, reflecting the anguish such offences cause young people.”

Smith, who was ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge, must register as a sex offender for the next ten years.