A family man has been fined for making a groping gesture at a shop assistant.
Gavin Buttery made the gesture after brushing past the woman in Boots store, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.
“The woman was stacking shelves”, said Sarah Traynor, prosecuting.
“The defendant brushed past her, and as she turned to look she saw him making a groping gesture.”
Buttery, 38, of Milner Grove, Hartlepool, admitted threatening behaviour on November 26 last year.
Neil Taylor, defending, said in mitigation: “This incident happened on a day when the store was holding one of its promotional shopping events.
“Speaking as an advocate whose wife has a loyalty card, I know the store would have been very busy.
“They had taken on extra staff that day to cope with the extra customers.
“Mr Buttery accidentally brushed against the woman.
“His account is that she responded by making a face at him.
“In turn, he responded by making what he now accepts was an inappropriate gesture.”
Mr Taylor said the offence fell at the “lower end” of threatening behaviour.
“There is no suggestion of any deliberate contact,” he added.
“A gesture, albeit an inappropriate one, must surely be at the lower end of this offence.
“Mr Buttery lives with partner and three children.”
Buttery was fined £40, ordered to pay £50 compensation to the victim, plus £85 costs and £20 court surcharge.
The money will be paid at £5 a week.