Sex offender told probation he could not meet them due to a birthday trip

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Latest news.

A sex offender who assaulted a woman at a supermarket has been given a curfew after he breached his community order.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, October 11, how Andrew Crowther, 63, of Market Street, Clay Cross, had been found guilty of a sexual assault at Tesco, on Bridge Street, Clay Cross, after he touched a woman’s thigh and was sentenced to a 12 month community order.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

But the defendant subsequently failed to comply with the order by failing to attend with a probation officer in August.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “The defendant went to Tesco and the victim was on a bench outside with young children and her sister and he said, ‘alright’.

“He sat down next to her and stroked his leg and then stroked her right upper thigh over her clothing and she was disgusted.”

Crowther was found guilty of the offence and sentenced to a 12 month community order but has subsequently failed to attend appointments with a probation officer.

The probation service stated there have been difficulties with Crowther who has phoned and said he could not attend because of health problems ranging from heart attacks to fits.

Crowther has also sounded intoxicated during such phone calls, according to the probation service, and has left his phone off the hook so returning his calls has been difficult.

Liaison with a social worker, according to the probation service, has revealed that Crowther’s behaviour has been disruptive with nuisance phone calls.

The probation service added that in relation to Crowther’s original breach of his order he contacted the probation service and said he was not going to his court appointment because it was his birthday and he was going to Newcastle.

Mrs Haslam added that Crowther’s previous convictions included making tens of hundreds of nuisance phone calls to the ambulance service while he had been drinking.

Crowther admitted breaching his community order by failing to attend with a probation officer on or after August 9.

Defence solicitor Rob Sowter said Crowther accepts he has been convicted for a sexual assault but after pleading not guilty he does not accept he committed the offence.

Mr Sowter explained that this has made it difficult to comply with a rehabilitation requirement of his community order which requires a defendant to accept they have committed an offence.

He added that Crowther’s anti-social behaviour matter involving multiple calls to the emergency services included him raising concerns after the death of Amy Winehouse because he felt sorry for her.

Mr Sowter argued that perhaps Crowther should not have been criminalised but perhaps should have been seen as someone needing assistance.

Magistrates revoked Crowther’s existing community order and re-sentenced him with a new community order including a 12 week curfew running daily from 5pm to 5am until January 3, 2018.

He was also ordered to pay £60 costs and was warned any further breach could result in a custodial sentence.