Man hauled before court for indecent assault after victim recognises him in street decades after incident

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A 36-YEAR-OLD man who indecently assaulted a girl was arrested after his victim saw him in the street decades later.

Lee Gilling’s victim is now married with children and was alarmed to see him with a three-year-old boy, Durham Crown Court heard.

“She has never forgotten what happened to her all those years ago,” said Adrian Dent, prosecuting. “The victim was playing in a tent on a communal grassed area when he entered the tent, exposed himself and climbed on top of her.

“She screamed and he went away.

“There was a row between their respective parents, but the police were not involved at the time.”

Gilling, 36, of Keswick Road, Peterlee, admitted indecent assault.

The court heard he has a conviction for arson and a recent conviction for indecently exposing himself to a woman in Peterlee.

Jamie Adams, mitigating, said: “Mr Gilling has been in custody, but a hostel place is now available to him.

“He found it difficult to talk about his problems, but is now doing so.

“The probation service say they can work with him, which may be the best way to prevent re-offending.”

The Recorder, Ms Amanda Rippon, sentenced Gilling to an 18-month community order with a condition he takes part in a sex offender treatment programme.

The recorder told him: “Your victim has never forgotten what you did to her and she is anxious whenever she sees you.

“I hope you are finally gaining some understanding of the impact of what you did.”

Gilling must register as a sex offender for five years.