An illegal immigrant who groped a woman in city centre bar has walked free from court.
Sintayhu Teresa forcefully grabbed a stranger between the legs in a crowded pub in Newcastle city centre, leaving her shocked and upset. A court heard he had spoken to and pestered the victim before sexually assaulting her.
Teresa denied the offence but was found guilty after a trial. He has now been given a suspended prison sentence by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court.
The offence happened in May last year and was caught on CCTV. Teresa was seen to be leering at and leaning towards the victim before grabbing her.
The woman, who said the grope was forceful enough to hurt, was left upset by the ordeal. Judge Christopher Prince told him: “In a pub in Newcastle, you went to stand next to a lady standing at the bar.
“Having spoken to her and clearly pestered her, in drink, you leaned forward and grabbed her crotch very forcibly with your hand in the middle of a crowded bar. She was understandably shocked and distressed by your conduct. She was angry and concerned by your conduct.”
Teresa, 36, of Wolseley Terrace, Sunderland, was found guilty after a trial of sexual assault. Judge Prince sentenced him to four months suspended for 18 months with 200 hours unpaid work, rehabilitation and he must sign the sex offenders register for seven years.
The judge said Teresa’s Home Office status is that he is an “illegal entrant liable for removal” but he is applying to remain here.
Kate Barnes, defending, said Teresa has no previous convictions. She added: “He seeks asylum against a background of extreme adversity. In this country he makes a positive contribution to his community.”
Miss Barnes added that Teresa does voluntary work at his local church and acted out of character. She said: “This happened on an occasion when he had drunk an unusually large amount of alcohol.”