Sex assault at B&B in resort

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A WOMAN sexually assaulted at a Blackpool guest house sat shaking in the dark, worried the man responsible would return.

The victim had been chatting with Stephen Evans when he suddenly grabbed hold of her bottom as she turned her back to carry on doing some ironing.

A short time later he returned to say he and a friend were going out and if she and her friend wanted to join them later, the door to their room would be left open.

The woman, who was in her 60s, was staying in the friend’s guest house to help her out at the time last October.

Louise Whaites, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court: “At one stage the woman turned her back in order to continue with the ironing. Without warning, the defendant suddenly grabbed hold of her bottom.

“This totally shocked her.”

The prosecution said that Evans, 47, returned a short time later and referred to the fact he and the other man were going out that night.

He mentioned on their return, if she and her friend wanted to join them, they would leave the door open for them.

The woman was crying and physically shaking as a result of what happened.

In a statement she said: “When they left I was shaking and came downstairs and sat in the dark waiting for my friend to arrive home.”

Evans was arrested when he returned at about 4am. In police interview he denied assaulting her and asked if she was “the full shilling”.

What happened had resulted in the woman being put on antidepressants. She has suffered flashbacks, a general loss of confidence and anger at the way she was made to feel.

Defence barrister Chris Hudson said his client was now receiving medication for depression. He had lost his job with a national cosmetics company.

The incident must have been very upsetting for the woman, he said and added while there had been contact the motive was not a sexual one.

“This was really drunken stupidity, rather than overt sexual activity. He would contend there was an element of banter. He has contrition for what happened”.

Evans, from Coventry and recently married, pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

He was ordered to carry out 110 hours’ unpaid community work and will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

The judge, Mr Justice Holroyde, told him the consequences of such an offending should never be underestimated.

The judge said: “If you came home to find your wife in that state, you would realise in an instant that this isn’t behaviour which can be passed off as drunken tomfoolery.

“It isn’t simply banter going a bit too far. It is sexual over familiarity, plainly unwelcome to the victim and having significant serious consequences for her”.