Man drunkenly groped woman at train station

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A man has been forced to sign the sex offenders register after drunkenly groping a woman at a train station.

Jonathan Naughton, 47, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault following separate incidents at Ince train station involving the same woman on December 14 and January 4.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court heard how Naughton, of Carr Street, Hindley, regularly travelled on the same train as the victim between Ince and Hindley and they would often talk to each other.

Glenn Anderton, prosecuting, said: “On December 14, at about 5.45pm the victim was about halfway up the station steps when she felt a hand brush against the back of her leg and up to her buttocks over her clothing and someone whispered in her ear ‘you’re a very sexy lady, aren’t you?’.

“She turned around and saw the defendant and told him to ‘sod off’. He laughed and walked away. The victim was shocked but didn’t think anything more of it and she didn’t use that train for a number of weeks.

“But on January 4, she had to take the train. She saw the defendant on the platform and said he was acting weirdly, appearing to shadow box with a station shelter.

“She was anxious to avoid him but he spotted her and walked towards her. He assaulted her by placing his hand on her and pulling her towards him. He then made a lewd comment to her. “She managed to get away from him and at that moment the train arrived,” added Mr Anderton.

Naughton was arrested on January 7 and initially pleaded not guilty, claiming the touching hadn’t been sexual but admitted common assault. He changed his plea on the day of his trial.

Colin Rawson, defending, said: “I have spoken with the victim and she seemed more worried about Mr Naughton then herself and has not asked for a restraining order.

“Mr Naughton could not provide any explanation for his behaviour but I think it is clear from the second incident that drink was involved. He has made a fool out of himself and is very embarrassed about it.

“He is a former drug addict and had replaced one addiction with another but this is no longer a problem.”

Naughton told the court it was a thoughtless act and he was sorry for what had happened.

Naughton was given a 12-month community order with a 10-day rehabilitation order, 150 hours unpaid work and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years.