Woman ‘had to bite’ man who groped her then stole her phone to stop her reporting crime

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A MAN groped a woman and stole her mobile phone to prevent her reporting his crime.

Robert Wilkinson attempted to rub his victim’s private parts, Durham Crown Court heard.

“The victim had to bite him to get him off her,” said Adrian Dent, prosecuting.

“Earlier he had shoved her in the chest and squeezed her shoulder.

“It appears likely he took the mobile phone to prevent her contacting the police immediately.”

Wilkinson, 21, of Salters Lane, Shotton Colliery, was convicted of sexual assault, two charges of common assault, and theft, after a trial earlier this year.

Ros Scot Bell, mitigating, said: “The root cause of his offending is his use of drink and drugs.

“Since being convicted of these offences, he has served six weeks in prison for a separate offence of theft.

“He now knows what custody is like and tells me he doesn’t want to go back.

“If the inevitable custodial sentence was suspended, it would enable Mr Wilkinson to receive the help with his problems that he needs.”

The Recorder, Mr Jonathan Carroll, jailed Wilkinson for 30 weeks.

The recorder told him: “You denied these offences and had a trial.

“In your pre-sentence report, you are still saying you did nothing wrong.

“There is no indication you are prepared to accept any responsibility for your actions.

“Were there any such indication, I may have been able to suspend the sentence.

“Your attitude to your offending means it has to be immediate custody.”

Wilkinson must register as a sex offender for seven years.