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Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Sex assault bus driver is jailed
A bus driver who sexually assaulted young girls said he had an "over- inflated" notion of his charms after he appeared on the TV show Blind Date.

Nicholas Price repeatedly confronted vulnerable girls on his bus late at night, York Crown Court heard.

The 27-year-old, who worked for Harrogate and District Travel Ltd, earlier admitted assaulting three girls between April 2002 and August 2005.

Price, formerly of Cheltenham Mount, Harrogate, was jailed for six months.

'Minor celebrity'

The bus driver claimed his appearance on Blind Date had led to him becoming a "minor celebrity" in the city and had pandered to his "inflated sense of attractiveness".

The court heard in one instance, two girls aged 16 and 14 asked Price for a lift after missing the last bus.

He drove them to a secluded area of the bus station, where he unzipped the 16-year-old girl's cardigan, exposing her bra.

He told her: "If you do something for me then perhaps we will have some sort of agreement."

No action taken

Jailing Price on Monday, Judge Paul Hoffman criticised the bus firm which let his behaviour go unchecked, despite incidents being reported.

He said: "What's troubling is the persistence in your offending and each time you were reported your employer took little or no disciplinary measures."

The judge said this lack of action led to a "false sense of security" on Price's behalf.

The bus driver posed a "high risk" to women in the future, the probation service said.

Price, who must sign the Sex Offenders' Register, was disqualified from working with children and must pay costs of up to 15,000.

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