April 2018

Pervert groped teenager at football match

A man groped a teenage woman between the legs as they left a Plymouth Argyle game, a court heard.

Kristian Batten, aged 25, sexually assaulted the 17-year-old stranger at Home Park.

He grabbed her over her leggings then sniffed his fingers as she looked around in horror, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

The victim later told police she was shocked, upset and angry.

Judge James Townsend told Batten it was a “very unpleasant” offence which caused “huge distress”.

He added: “She has an understandable fear that something might happen when she is out in public places. I am satisfied you have not fully faced up to what you have done.

“No doubt there is an element of shame and remorse which may prevent you from doing so.”

But the judge said that because of his guilty plea and good character, he could hand Batten a community order with sex offender treatment to prevent any further assaults.

Batten, of Lake Lane in Liskeard, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the teenager after the home match against Fleetwood Town on October 7.

Julia Cox, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that the victim left the game with members of her family.

She said Batten, who was in the same stand, reached from behind and groped her between the legs over her clothes.

Miss Cox added that the girl looked behind her in the crowd – to see Batten sniff his fingers in front of her.

The barrister said she was upset and immediately told her mother and the police.

Officers could not find Batten on the day, but he was identified the following Saturday from CCTV footage.

The teenager later told police: “After the incident I was feeling in shock that someone could do that to me without my permission and think they could get away with it.

Batten was handed a two-year community order with a sex offender treatment course.

Batten was ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for five years. He must pay £85 victim surcharge.