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Bus stop groper from Holywell is jailed

Published date: 23 April 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A SEX offender who has been jailed for 14 months for sexual touching laughed when he was told he would have to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Curtis Jennings, 23, of Pen y Maef, Holywell,  was told by Recorder Richard Pratt QC, that he had a “troubling and belittling attitude towards women” after a court heard about a number of previous domestic violence convictions committed by Jennings among his total of 22 convictions for 39 offences.

Jennings was sentenced to a total of 14 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to offences of sexual touching and common assault and was convicted after a trial at West Cheshire Magistrates Court of using threatening words and behaviour to a female police officer.

Chester Crown Court heard that on the evening of November 5 last year, fuelled by drink and a legal high, Jennings approached a female police officer at 8pm in Chester city centre and asked to be arrested. The police officer told him to go home but instead Jennings told her she was “too fit to do that job” and made a number of suggestive sexual comments before he ran off after being asked for his name and providing false details.

Prosecuting, Maria Marcella, said Jennings then approached a woman at about 9pm on the same evening who was with her boyfriend and mother at Chester Bus Station. She said Jennings asked the woman for a cigarette. The woman agreed and gave Jennings a cigarette and then Jennings kissed her on the head before he said “do not kick off with me and I won’t kick off with you.” Jennings then asked the woman if the man she was with was her boyfriend and then said “you are gorgeous, you could do so much better than him” four or five times.

Jennings then pushed the woman’s boyfriend before grabbing the woman, kissing her twice on the cheek.

The court heard that the woman then tried to move away from Jennings which made him angry and he groped her breast and bottom which Miss Marcella said caused the woman to “freeze”.

Jennings then tried to put his hand underneath her leggings before the woman’s mother intervened. Jennings then tried to hug the woman’s mother before he calmly walked away and started smoking a cigarette.

Miss Marcella said that a bus then arrived and the three people got onto it and Jennings came over to the bus and rubbed his groin in the direction of the woman he had just attacked.

The court heard that Jennings had a significant history of violence towards women with a number of domestic violence convictions including one assault where he grabbed his then girlfriend around the throat in October 2010 and another conviction in September 2011 where he punched his then girlfriend in the eye. The court also heard that in June 2012 he was sentenced to 13 months in prison at Mold Crown Court for breaking a man’s jaw after repeatedly punching him.

Miss Marcella also read a victim impact statement to the court which said during the attack the woman was “terrified” because she didn’t know what he would do next.

Since the attack the woman has had nightmares, flashbacks and is afraid to go out in public. She has had to call paramedics to her home on a number of occasions because of anxiety and panic attacks and she does not want to go to Chester city centre again.

In mitigation, Peter Barnett, said Jennings pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and said that he could not remember the incidents because he had drunk “around six or seven pints and taken a legal high”.

Mr Barnett said Jennings had a real issue with alcohol which he was determined to tackle while in prison and said this incident was an isolated one which “he is totally ashamed of”.

Recorder Pratt QC sentenced Jennings to 13 months in prison for the sexual touching with no separate penalty for the common assault but added another month imprisonment for the use of threatening words and behaviour towards the female police officer who Recorder Pratt pointed out was alone at the time of the incident.

Recorder Pratt QC said: “This incident was sustained, committed in a public place at night and sexual nature to it. I have no doubt it was a terrifying ordeal for the victim.

“It has been aggravated by your previous convictions and approach to women and the fact you committed this offence while on license.

“She and other women need to be assured that the courts will give them protection.”

Jennings, who wore a grey tracksuit with a large cross around his neck during the hearing, laughed when he was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for the next ten years.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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