Groping Alton Towers worker Peter Sutcliffe sacked by firm
PENSIONER Peter Sutcliffe has lost his job at Alton Towers after sexually assaulting a woman in a pub.
The 65-year-old had drunk seven pints of beer when he groped the woman.
The victim, who cannot be named, then reacted by striking Sutcliffe across the face.
Now Sutcliffe – who was sentenced yesterday after admitting sexual assault – must pay £500 compensation to his victim and sign the Sex Offenders' Register for five years.
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North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court heard yesterday that the woman was drinking with a male friend before she turned her back and started talking to other customers.
Clair Moss, prosecuting, said: "She then felt a hand between her legs.
"In shock and anger she struck the man across his face with her left hand.
"The defendant tried to hit her but she blocked him and hit him again.
"He grabbed her and other people pulled him away."
The court heard Sutcliffe does not accept grabbing the woman's throat or hitting her.
But the victim now feels unsafe, struggles to sleep and is nervous of men following the incident last March.
After being arrested Sutcliffe told police he was happy but not drunk and denied sexually assaulting her.
But Andrew Bennett, mitigating, said Sutcliffe, of Cheadle Road, Alton, now accepts what he did.
"It has to be accepted that it was very unpleasant and an unacceptable invasion of a woman's dignity," said Mr Bennett.
He added: "There was no prolonged activity or contact.
"It was clearly minimal or fleeting and was over as soon as it began.
"There is some question of physical harm being caused. He pleads to the sexual offence.
"She has, not surprisingly, had a go at him.
"He says his physical contact was to ward her off."
The court heard Sutcliffe is currently living with his parents.
Magistrates told Sutcliffe the offence was serious and unpleasant and they seriously considered jailing him.
But they decided he needs help to address various issues and sentenced him to a three year community order with supervision.
He must also undertake the community sex offender group programme and pay £85 prosecution costs.