A serial bus flasher who exposed himself to young girls as his bus went past them has been ordered to go on a sex offenders’ treatment programme.

Benjamin Harris was told he would also be made the subject of a specific order – not to put his hands down his trousers when in public.

Judge Steven Gullick made the order when Harris appeared at St Albans crown court on Friday, February 1 to admit seven offences of exposure.

The court was told all the offences occurred when 29-year-old Harris was onboard buses and had moved to the back seat.

Robert Colover, prosecuting, said Harris targeted young girls walking on the pavement as the bus went by in Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead and Watford in Hertfordshire.

Harris was finally arrested after taking a bus from Potters Bar to Enfield.

One victim was 13, four were 17 and two more were 18 and 21.

The prosecutor said the victims saw Harris exposing and fondling himself on board the bus.

Mr Colover said Harris chose bus routes in Stevenage, as well as the routes from Hatfield to Watford, Watford to Hemel Hempstead, St Albans to Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar to Enfield.

The court was told the offences occurred during September and October of last year and Hertfordshire Police subsequently mounted a special operation to catch Harris after receiving numerous complaints from young women.

When he was arrested, he told the police: "I know it was wrong and I shouldn't have done it. I haven't had a girlfriend for a while."

In court, Harris, of Hatfield Road, St Albans, was described as a "sexually frustrated loner".

Passing sentence, Judge Gullick told him he had committed "unpleasant offences".

He sentenced Harris to a three-year community order during which time he will be under the supervision of the probation service.

Harris was told he must also complete a sex offenders’ treatment programme.

The judge told Harris he was also being made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, which means he is not allowed to put his hands down his trousers in public and touch himself – unless it is to go to the toilet.

His name will also be added to the sex offenders’ register for the next seven years.