February 2019

Man groped teenage girl

A teenager groped by a man twice her age said that she is now frightened to wear short skirts in case she is targeted again.

John Wood, 34, grabbed the bottom of the 17-year-old girl at a pub in Wakefield.

He claimed he thought that she was his wife but was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

Wood pleaded guilty to sexual assault when he appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.

The offence happened at the Black Horse pub in Westgate on June 23 last year.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said that the victim was returning from the toilets when she felt a hand stroking the left hand side of her bottom.

She didn’t see who was responsible but another witness did and told the manager who called police.

In a personal impact statement the victim said that since the incident she has felt uncomfortable about being touched.

Mr Bozman said: “She said she’s always looking over her shoulder and because of what happened doesn’t wear skirts or dresses for work.

“She blames herself because she feels that by wearing trousers it won’t happen again.”

The victim added that she is scared of bumping into Wood, of Heilfield Court in Castleford, again.

In interview he said he didn’t intend to touch her or cause distress.

Mr Bozman told magistrates: “He said he’d been drinking throughout the day. He had been touching his partner and don’t realise he’d touched (the victim) until security advised him of it.”

Wood confirmed that due to amount of alcohol he’d drunk he believed that he was touching his partner at the time of the offence.

Magistrates sentenced him to a community order with 80 hours of unpaid work. He must pay £100 court costs and £50 compensation to his victim.

He will be subject to the sex offenders’ register for the next five years and have to register his details with police.