Preston worker was rescued by woman passing in car after being sexually assaulted in the street

A man who approached a woman and sexually assaulted her in the street as she made her way to work has been given a community order to address his offending.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 12:30 pm

Phillip Hayes, 54, of Albyn Bank Road, Preston, told his frightened victim: "Show me them" and called her a "fat b**ch" as he groped her on Avenham Lane.

A passing motorist rescued her by telling her to get into her car, and they were able to drive back past him and take photographs to pass on to the police.

He was arrested on Ringway.

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He tried to claim during his trial that it was an "accidental collision" and a "misunderstanding" on the victim's part, but jurors found him guilty of sexual assault.

Robert Smith, prosecuting, said: " The offence occurred on August 5 last year.

"The complainant had parked her car at Queen Street and was making her way to work when the defendant approached her from behind on Avenham Lane and started to touch her.

"He rummaged in her coat pockets and moved his hands all over her, grabbing under her open coat and grabbing her breasts

"The complainant was able to push the defendant away but the defendant continued to follow her

"She crossed over the road and returned in the direction she had come from.

"He continued to follow her and she began part running.

"Fortunately for her a member of the public pulled up in her vehicle and told the complainant to get in her car.

"They drove past him and she took several photos of him which were given to the police."

Defending, Mr Flynn said Hayes had told a probation officer he had drank a considerable amount of alcohol before the assault and that his pre sentence report highlighted he had mental health difficulties.

He made remarks that he was a "shell of a man" compared to what he used to be, and when asked to explain Hayes said he had "stopped smoking" and his " brain isn't receiving the amount of food it should."

Judge Graham Knowles QC imposed a three year community order and made a restraining order to protect the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

He said he had been abusive to the woman in a "humiliating and degrading way" and added: "It's quite outrageous to behave in this fashion."

However, he accepted his long history of schizophrenia, and that he was now on medication.

His last convictions were 20 years ago and not of a similar nature.

He ordered him to sign the Sex Offender's register for five years and added: " If you put your hands on another woman you're going to go to prison and you're going to go to prison for a long time."

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