Pensioner sexually assaulted stranger at Metro station as she tried to help him buy ticket

A pensioner sexually assaulted a stranger when she tried to help him buy a train ticket at a Metro station.

Leslie Worthington had problems with his concessionary Gold Card, which appeared to be out of date, and the woman said she would help him buy a ticket for his journey last November.

Newcastle Crown Court heard when they got to the ticket machine at the station in Heworth, the 73-year-old "forcibly" grabbed the victim and kissed her on the lips.

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Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: "This was a busy public place, a Metro station, where anyone would be entitled to feel safe."

Leslie Worthington.

The woman said she was "horrified and disgusted", had no idea what might happen next and pushed Worthington away.

She said in a victim statement she was "shocked and horrified" by what happened to her and that the aftermath has devastated her life.

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The woman said she needed time off work, started drinking more and there were problems in her relationship after what happened to her.

She said things "spiraled out of control" in her life, which she now describes as "in ruins".

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Worthington, of Norham Avenue, South Shields, admitted sexual assault.

The court heard he has a previous conviction for a public order offence in 2014, when he "serenaded" a woman, who he said was the "most beautiful woman in the world" and kissed her face while she was on a bus with her young daughter, before threatening another passenger with "I will deck you".

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The court heard Worthington's alcohol consumption has been a feature in all of the offences.

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Mr Recorder James Wood KC sentenced him to three months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation requirements and an order to pay £400 compensation.

Worthington was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for seven years.

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The judge told him: "She was utterly outraged and that behaviour was utterly disgusting and totally disgraceful.

"It has had an appalling impact on her."