A MAN accused of squeezing a shop manager’s bottom will see a sexual touching charge reduced to a conditional caution – if he writes a letter of apology.
Alan Lesley Simm, 35, of Westminster Road, Ellesmere Port would have faced signing on to the sex offenders register and a possible jail term if convicted of sexual touching.
But, charged with the lesser public order offence of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, Simm could escape serious punishment for his actions on February 10.
At Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston Magistrates Court, prosecutor Jackie Lamb said: “Mr Simm had spent his lunch time in a public house and had something to drink. He then went to an off licence in Ellesmere Port and as he was leaving that shop, the lady who runs the shop was with her husband standing in the doorway. As he came close to her, she felt a sharp grasp to her right buttock which caused her discomfort and shock.”
When Ms Lamb said Simm denied the touching was sexual, presiding district judge Nicholas Sanders asked: “Even though he said to her ‘see you later gorgeous’ and when her husband intervened he said ‘why, what are you going to do about it?’”
Ms Lamb explained a colleague had decided the charge should be reduced taking into account he is 35 and his last conviction goes back to 1998.
The district judge responded: “I have to say I’d struggle to justify that decision to the world at large given what he said at the time and given his denial.
“I think that stretches the use of the cautioning system to its limits. That’s my view but it’s out of my hands.
“I’m sure the CPS can justify their decision to the public at large. I, somewhat reluctantly, discharge the offence.”
Mr Sanders added if he did not write the letter he could be recharged for the offence.