Metro groper squeezed bottoms of ten women and a child


A man has been spared jail after squeezing the bottoms of ten women and a child in a random crime spree.

Atupele Lamba told police he committed the crimes as a "joke" and it was "just a dare" between him and a friend.

The 25-year-old targeted his first victim, a 12-year-old child, in December last year when he came behind the girl and grabbed her bottom before running off.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how he then grabbed the bottoms of two other woman outside Felling Metro Station in Gateshead in January this year.

The following day he returned to the scene where he grabbed the bottom of another woman before running out of the Metro station.

And on the next day Lamba squeezed the bottoms of a further eight women in the Gateshead area before running away.

During one of the eight assaults he grabbed a woman's bottom and held on to it without saying anything until she screamed and he ran off.

Paul Rowland, prosecuting, said: "It's fair to say that between the various

complainants they felt disgust at what occurred, they felt violated and certainly in relation to one of these complainants brought back memories of a previous sexual assault on her.

"He was interviewed about the numerous offences. Police at the time stated he accepted he was responsible for these offences.

"He said it was just a game, a bit of fooling around. He said it was all just a dare between him and a friend, he never thought he was committing a sexual offence."

Lamba, of Sir Godfrey Thomson Court, Felling, Gateshead, admitted 11 counts of sexual assault by touching at a previous hearing.

Tom Finch, defending, said: "He thought it was funny and immature and child

like which is what he perceived it as, he's completely wrong."

Judge Deborah Sherwin told Lamba he left his victims "frightened."

She said: "Over a period of over one month on four separate days you have approached women and squeezed their bottoms.

"You thought this was something of a joke, I am sure some of the women involved did not think it was a joke.

"This isn't funny and this isn't a joke.

"It's quite clear you're somebody who is quite immature for your age and mustn't have had the guidance you could have had in life."

Judge Sherwin sentenced Lamba to a three year community order with a rehabilitation order and a sex offender treatment programme.