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Man jailed for assaulting woman on train on Christmas Eve

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Court Result

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A 48-year-old man who sexually assaulted a woman on Christmas Eve has been jailed following a British Transport Police investigation.

Adam John Richards, of St Pancras Gardens, Lewes, was jailed for 26 weeks at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 4 December after he was found guilty of sexual assault by touching and attempted sexual assault.

He was also handed a restraining order which prevents him from contacting the victim.

The court heard how on 24 December last year Richards boarded the 7.20am Lewes to Brighton service shortly before his victim.

Once she was seated, he sat opposite the victim and began asking her personal questions before placing his hand on her thigh – she immediately pushed him away and moved to a busier part of the train.

Richards then followed the woman through the train. As she waited in the vestibule for the train to stop Richards again approached her and leant in to kiss her.

The victim, who was clearly distraught by what had happened, reported the incident to the train manager who prevented the man from leaving the station. British Transport Police were called and Richards was arrested.

Investigating officer DS Margaret Storey said: “This appalling incident has had a huge impact on the victim, who understandably now feels wary when travelling on the train. Richards’ actions left her feeling sick, shocked and upset.

“No-one should have to experience unwanted sexual behaviour while travelling on the rail network.  I commend the victim for having the courage to come forward and  report the matter and supporting our investigation which has resulted in Richards receiving a custodial sentence.

“Your safety is our priority and our Report it to Stop it campaign encourages passengers to contact us about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Report any unwanted sexual behaviour as soon as possible. Text 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40.”

Richards was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and to sign the sex offenders register for five years.

Notes to editors: 

Following an appeal launched on behalf of Richards by his legal team, the original sentence was reviewed and Richards was instead issued with a community order.


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