The landlady at a South Tyneside pub has called time on a pervert who was spared jail after groping a woman on a night out.
Gordon Douglas was told he must sign the sex offenders register for five years and was slapped with a 36-month community order by a judge at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court after carrying out the sexual assault at the Mechanics Arms pub, on East Street, South Shields.
He grabbed the female customer by the genitals while she stood at the bar – having earlier harrassed another girl in the pub.
He was told that only his remorse and early guilty plea had kept him from being locked up.
Pub boss Gina Smith says Douglas was thrown out of the pub after the incident and she immediately used the South Tyneside Pubwatch radio line to alert other pubs and the police about his behaviour.
Mrs Smith, 52, says she had never seen Douglas in her watering-hole before – and says he is banned from entering the premises again.
Mrs Smith, who has been in the pub trade for over 30 years and behind the bar of the Mechanic Arms for nearly seven years, said: “He was immediately escorted off the premises by our door staff and I used our Pubwatch radio to inform the police about what had happened, with his description.
“I had never seen him in here before, but he is barred. We won’t stand for any kind of trouble in this pub. Our door staff are very vigilant.
“The thing our customers say the most is that they can come into this pub and feel that they are safe. That is very important to us.”
“As soon as we were told what happened he was removed from the pub.”
South Tyneside Magistrates’ 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, of Sutton Way, South Shields, was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to the victim.