Drunken pervert who groped woman in South Shields pub to sign sex offenders register

Mechanics Arms, East Street, South Shields.
Mechanics Arms, East Street, South Shields.

A DRUNKEN pervert has been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years after groping a woman in a South Tyneside pub.

A DRUNKEN pervert has been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years after groping a woman in a South Tyneside pub.

Gordon Douglas left his victim in “extreme pain” after grabbing her as she toasted a friend’s birthday at the Mechanics Arms, in East Street, South Shields, and had earlier harassed another woman in the pub.

Magistrates told the 44-year-old it was only his “genuine remorse” which had saved him from being jailed when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Douglas, of Sutton Way, South Shields, had admitted a charge of sexual assault at an earlier hearing.

He was back at the court for sentencing and was given a 36-month community order, which includes completing a sexual offenders group work programme.

The court heard that Douglas had assaulted the woman, who was with her husband, as he stood behind her at the bar.

Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “The victim was in the Mechanics Arms pub at about midnight, celebrating a friend’s birthday and standing at the bar

“She felt extreme pain as her genitals were grabbed by someone behind her. She turned and saw a man she didn’t know. She said he had a sleazy look on his face and that she felt embarrassed and disgusted. She was in complete shock and in pain.”

He added: “She felt so disgusted and embarrassed that she didn’t want to notify her husband about what happened but spoke to a female friend. Her husband overheard and went over and remonstrated with Douglas.”

In a victim statement read out in court, the woman said: “I have a recollection of the man smiling. I have no idea why he did it.” The court heard that earlier that night, Douglas had approached a group of girls at a table before propositioning one of them.

Mr Sudworth said Douglas asked one of the girls if she had a boyfriend and, when she said yes, he asked if she would cheat on him. He said he wanted to take her out to the back and have sex with her.

He added: “She became very uncomfortable at his remarks.”

Douglas admitted a second charge of using threatening abusive words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress in relation to that incident.

Mark Richardson, defending, said: “He wants to make clear he is profoundly remorseful and apologetic and he is highly motivated to make sure it never happens again.”

District Judge Helen Cousins told Douglas the sexual assault was a “serious and unpleasant” offence.

She told him he could have faced a prison sentence were it not for his remorse and early guilty plea.

Douglas was ordered to pay £300 compensation to the victim of the sexual assault, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60, as well as complying with the community order and signing the sex offenders’ register for five years.