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A perverted ex-teacher with an 'unhealthy interest in teenage girls' groped a 12-year-old girl after following her around a supermarket, a court heard.
Ian Hamilton, 57, left the minor in 'serious distress' when he approached her and carried out the attack at the Spar in Whitefield, according to Manchester Evening News.
The man walked behind her saying 'excuse me' while lifting her coat and touching her bottom as he did so, Manchester Crown Court heard.
After groping her, he asked if she knew of any takeaways close by. She responded saying she wasn't sure before Hamilton left.
The court heard Hamilton already had two previous convictions for harassment against girls aged 16 and 15 back in 2003, and had left his teaching job as a result.
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David Bentley, prosecuting, told the court that on the morning of November 23, 2018, the girl entered the Spar and was looking in the sweet and crisp aisle when she noticed someone watching her.
“She realised a man was following her whilst she went down a further aisle – she felt he would not stop looking at her,” Mr Bentley said.
“She was against the wall of the aisle and felt in shock and paranoid.”
He was tracked down following analysis of the CCTV which showed him getting out cash earlier that morning.
A member of staff previously told a jury that they had seen the man push past the girl and said she looked bewildered and like she wanted to speak to her but ‘didn’t know how’.
In a statement, the girl said there had been a change in her personality to someone who was ‘withdrawn, lacking in self-confidence and considering self-harm’.
Sentencing, Recorder Anna Vigars QC said: “It’s obvious that you made her feel uncomfortable by following her around that shop.
“You denied you touched her in this way, or at all. You maintain that denial.”
“You have previous convictions which demonstrate an interest of an unhealthy nature in teen girls.
“It may have been a touch which lasted a second, it may have been over clothing, it may have been on the buttocks and not on the genitals, but I hope you understand how very seriously it has been taken.”
Hamilton was found guilty of one count of sexual assault and given a 24-month community order, 10 days of rehabilitation activity requirements, 200 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to complete an accredited programme under the probation service.
He must also sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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