Drunk woman flashed and groped ‘sickened’ police officer in South Shields park

Louise Richards
Louise Richards

A drunken woman who flashed her breasts and groped a police officer while families watched on in a South Tyneside park has been slammed for her “nasty” behaviour and handed a court curfew order.

Louise Richards shouted “You fancy me, don’t you?” before squeezing the stunned officer’s right buttock at North Marine Park, South Shields.

The victim was one of four officers called out to the park after complaints of rowdy behaviour by Richards and a group of fellow drinkers.

The 46-year-old – who has three drunk and disorderly convictions on her record from this year – was arrested on the spot and admitted a charge of sexual touching at a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

She was back at court yesterday to be sentenced after a probation service report was compiled on her.

Magistrates were told that the officer had been left ‘physically sickened’ and ‘violated’ by the incident.

The offence took place at 2pm on Friday, August 21, when members of the public and families were also present.

Maimuna Bappa, prosecuting, said; “The incident took place on Friday, August 21.

“The officer had been asked to assist colleagues at an incident. Richards lifted her T-shirt to flash her breasts. When the officer walked away, Richards came up and said ‘You fancy me, don’t you?’

“She then grabbed the officer’s right buttock with her right hand and squeezed. The officer was shocked and immediately arrested her.”

In a statement read out in court, the officer said; “I felt violated by what she did. She had no right to touch me in that way. My personal space was invaded and I felt physically sick.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said Richards was receiving support to tackle drink problems in a bid to turn her life around.

Mr Brown said: “She was perhaps playing up to her peer group, to take a risk or a dare. She has paid the price for that. She hopes the police officer is able to get over the shock of the unwarranted intrusion.”

Reverend Glynn Lister, chairwoman of the magistrates, said the bench were satisfied Richards was taking steps to stay out of trouble but said she must be punished for her actions.

Rev Lister said:“This was a nasty offence. If you were sober and of right mind, you would look at it and say, yes it was. You will be given a curfew order for two months. That means you can’t go off with these bad influences.”

Richards, of St Aidans Road, South Shields, was given an 18-month community order with a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement and must keep to a two-month curfew, between the hour of 7pm and 7am each day.

She was also ordered to pay a criminal court charge of £180, costs of £40 and compensation of £30 to the officer.