Pools fan faces five-year ban after groping woman’s bottom

Carl Jenkins
Carl Jenkins

A POOLS season-ticket holder could be banned from official matches for up to five years after being found guilty of groping a woman’s bottom at a football match.

Carl 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 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.”

Pools steward Colin Newton saw the 26-year-old commit the offence and when police were called they searched Jenkins and found a lock-knife in his pocket and also believed he was drunk.

Jenkins was arrested and later charged with sexual touching, possession of a knife in a public place and being drunk at a sports ground.

He denied the string of offences but following a trial at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court he was found guilty of all three charges.

Prosecuting, Phil Morley told justices: “The injured party felt someone grab hold of her left buttock. She turned and saw a male stood behind her. This male, say the Crown, is the defendant.”

The victim in the case, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave evidence and said: “All I felt was someone grab my left buttock. I turned round and I saw a lad stood there and I shouted at him ‘what do you think you’re doing and he was stood smirking saying ‘it wasn’t me’, but I was stood right next to him. The steward said it was him.

“I didn’t actually see him grab me but I saw he was there. There were no other people stood with him and no other people passing.”

Jenkins, of Nuthatch Close, in the Bishop Cuthbert area, refuted the claims saying he did not touch the woman’s bottom and that 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.

“The first I knew of it was when this woman turned round shouting and I started laughing because I was in shock that she was accusing me of doing it,” he said. “I wasn’t in a position to touch her.”

Jenkins admitted drinking four cans on his two-and-a-half-hour journey back to Hartlepool from Birmingham where he works, and a further two pints at the match. He said he had been drinking but was “not drunk”.

As for the knife, he said he used it regularly at work and had forgotten it was in his pocket, along with site plans.

But magistrates dismissed his claims and found him guilty on all three charges.

Chairman of the bench Barbara Sutherland adjourned sentencing Jenkins until April 10 at 2pm for the Probation Service to carry out a pre-sentence report.

She released Jenkins on unconditional bail and warned him that a football banning order - preventing him from entering sports arenas and watching all official football games - was being considered.