A HARTLEPOOL United season-ticket holder who was found guilty of groping a woman’s bottom at a football match has been banned from Hartlepool United games for six months.
Justices at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court also prohibited Carl Jenkins from entering any sports ground if he has consumed booze for 11 months and sentenced him to an 11-month community order.
The 26-year-old was ordered to pay £260 court costs and £50 compensation to his victim – who says she was left “extremely embarrassed and upset” after having her bottom pinched at the Victoria Park ground.
Jenkins, of Nuthatch Close, in Hartlepool, previously pleaded not guilty to sexual touching, possession of a knife in a public place and being drunk at a sports ground, but was found guilty after a trial.
The dad-of-one had been warned that he could have been banned from all football matches in England and Wales for five years.
But justices decided against it after hearing from his solicitor, Adrian Morris.
Mr Morris told magistrates: “He is not a football hooligan.
“For most of his adult life he’s attended football matches and he doesn’t go intending to cause problems.”
He added: “So how serious are these offences? In relation to the sexual assault, that has to be at the lower end of the scale, it involves a nipping of her buttock. As for the knife, it was a tool for work as he removes packaging from windows as part of his job.
“Along with the knife in his pocket, he even had paperwork relevant to his job. Forgetting to take it out of his pocket is not a defence, so unfortunately he’s guilty.
“Being drunk in a sports ground is the least serious of all the offences.”
As previously reported by the Hartlepool Mail, Jenkins was at Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park with friends and had been drinking when he touched the woman’s behind as she watched the game.
The court heard that the woman “instantaneously” turned around and saw the defendant and shouted at him “what do you think you’re doing?”, to which he replied while smirking back at her: “It wasn’t me.”
A Pools steward also said he saw the defendant commit the offence.
Jenkins refuted the claim and said there were lots of other potential culprits as it was during a busy period at the start of the game when people were walking to their seats.
He also said his pint was in his right hand so it could not have been him as the way the woman was positioned he would have had to have used his right hand to carry out the act.
Jenkins admitted drinking four cans on his two-and-a-half-hour journey to Hartlepool from Birmingham where he worked and a further two pints at the match. He said he was “not drunk”.