Sex offender 'laughed' as he inappropriately grabbed a 16-year-old girl
A pub chef who laughed while groping a teenage girl has been warned by a judge to keep his hands to himself.
Sam Tate was standing outside of The Waterfront in South Shields when he started chatting to and then inappropriately touching his 16-year-old victim, while thinking it was funny.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the teen told the 21-year-old his behaviour was "not funny" but in response Tate "laughed".
Tate, of East Close, South Shields, denied sexual assault but was found guilty after a trial by magistrates, who transferred his case to crown court for sentence.
Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court the offence happened when Tate was outside of the pub. He grabbed the teen's breasts and bottom over her clothing.
Miss Masters told the court: "She said 'don't' and Mr Tate replied 'well, what'.
"She replied 'it's not funny' and Mr Tate then laughed."
The court heard that police were contacted after the victim raised the alarm.
Judge Penny Moreland warned Tate: "I advise you strongly to keep your hands to yourself."
Judge Moreland sentenced him to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and group work requirements as well as five years on the sex offenders register.
The judge told Tate: "You took the opportunity to grab her breasts and to grab her bottom.
"You seemed to thing it was funny, you laughed while you were doing it.
"You denied you have behaved in such a way. She gave evidence at trial and you were convicted of that offence."
Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Tate has shown "no remorse or understanding" about the offence because he denied it throughout and was found guilty after a trial.
Miss Coxon said Tate hopes to continue in his promising catering career and wants to take every opportunity to progress with his future.
Tate has never been in trouble before.