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Suspended sentence for man who groped young woman at Manchester Piccadilly

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A sex offender who repeatedly groped a young woman at Manchester Piccadilly station has been handed a 26 week sentence, suspended for two years, following a British Transport Police investigation. 

Benjamin Rothe, aged 27, of Millennium Drive, Tower Hamlets, London, pleaded guilty to sexual assault at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced on Monday 18 June.

The court heard how Rothe first touched his victim as she descended an escalator at Manchester Piccadilly station on 10 April 2013.
Assuming it was an accident, the victim, who was aged 24 at the time, moved further down the escalator but was horrified when Rothe groped her again. This time she turned around and saw Rothe smiling at her, all the time hiding his actions with a large picture frame he was carrying.

Terrified by what had happened, the victim left the station at the London Road exit, only for Rothe to follow her. A passing tram meant she was trapped on the same side of the road as Rothe who walked past her. He then doubled back, grabbed her again and made a lewd comment while smiling at her.

Rothe was eventually identified and in interview, admitted the offence.

Investigating officer DC Mike Gore said: “Rothe’s victim was left frightened and humiliated by what happened. 
“Unwanted sexual behaviour will not be tolerated and we will always pursue offenders no matter how much time has passed since the offence.
"We take every report of sexual assault seriously, and will provide full support to the victims and will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice."
As well as the suspended sentence Rothe must also fulfil a 20 day rehabilitation order requirement and will remain on the sex offender's register for seven years. He must also pay his victim £300.

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