November 2014

Newsagent groped teenage girl

A shop owner who lusted after a teenage girl and repeatedly groped her has escaped being locked up.

Hitendra Desai mauled the victim at his Newsline newsagents in Week Street, Maidstone, and at one point asked her: “What would you do if I raped you?”

The 56-year-old married father admitted three offences of sexual assault.

He was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years with supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Prosecutor Trevor Wright said Desai made provocative comments, telling the girl: “I can’t control my sexual urges around you. What would you do if I raped you?”

She left the shop and did not return.

When arrested Desai denied any inappropriate touching but admitted it when CCTV from the shop was produced.

“He denies being attracted to young females,” said Mr Wright. “He said it was wrong and it wouldn’t happen again.

“He said no one else had been touched.”

Mark Hunson, defending, said Desai believed the girl to be over 18

Desai’s name will appear on the sex offenders’ register.