September 2017

Chef sexually assaulted teenage girl

A chef got into a teenage girl’s bed after a party at a hotel and ignored her request for him not to try on any “funny business” if he stayed the night.

He let his hands wander and touched her intimately despite her protests at what he was doing, a court heard.

Jamie Speroni, 27, of Bottesford Avenue, Scunthorpe, admitted sexual assault on January 18 last year.

Jeremy Evans, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court that Speroni was, at the time, working as a sous chef for a hotel in the Brigg area and a party was held for staff.

Overnight accommodation was arranged for those attending so that they did not have to drive if they did not want to do so.

Speroni made advances towards a 17-year-old girl after both had been drinking but she was having none of it and rebuffed them. She went to a room she was staying in overnight.

Speroni went into her room with two other people who were staying overnight, including his room mate.

He later got into the girl’s bed, dressed in just his boxer shorts, and encouraged her to get in but she was not happy and asked him to leave.

The girl later relented and agreed that he could stay. She got into her own bed but warned him not to try any “funny business”, said Mr Evans.

But Speroni later started pushing himself up against her and sexually assaulted her.

He tried to manoeuvre himself into an intimate position, Mr Evans said.

The girl jumped out of bed and demanded that Speroni left her room. He went out, but was slightly indignant at having to do so, and she went back to sleep.

Speroni later sent a Facebook message to her apologising for his actions, saying that he had been drinking but hinting that it was the fault of both of them.

She told him that she was not comfortable with what had happened.

Speroni was later dismissed from his job. The girl later complained to the police.

The case was originally due to be heard as a trial but Speroni pleaded guilty on the scheduled first day.

Mr Evans said that the incident had a serious effect on the girl, who is now 19, and she ended up failing her A-levels.

She was relieved, however, that she did not have the trauma of having to give evidence to a trial.

Judge Paul Watson QC told the court that he did not accept that Speroni misread signals from the girl.

Speroni was given a one-year suspended prison sentence, 120 hours’ unpaid work and was ordered to pay £500 costs. He will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

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