A man who admitted sexually assaulting a train dispatcher at Manchester Oxford Road Station has been sentenced following a British Transport Police investigation.
Andrew Graham, aged 45, of Sandbrook Close, Shavington, was handed an eight week curfew with conditions to be within his home address between 8.30pm and 5.30am, which will be monitored by an electronic tag.
He pleaded guilty to sexual assault by touching at Manchester Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 28 October and was also ordered to pay £50 compensation, a £85 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.
The court heard how on Friday, 29 March, Graham approached the train dispatcher from behind and grabbed his bottom. The Northern staff member immediately turned around and confronted Graham, refused him travel and told him to leave the station.
Graham did so but then returned and began remonstrating with his victim, arguing and squaring up to him and the victim’s colleague. He became abusive and was eventually ordered to leave the station when other staff members arrived.
The victim reported the incident to British Transport Police and Graham was identified by his Northern Rail travel pass which he had shown to his victim.
In police interview Graham admitted he was drunk at the time and could remember few details but claimed that any touching had merely been ‘banter’.
Detective Constable Liam Deasley said: “Any form of unwanted sexual behaviour is always taken seriously and we will always investigate. As part of our Focussing on Your Safety pledge to rail staff and the travelling public, we are committed to making sure that everyone has the right to a safe journey.
“Graham’s warped idea of ‘banter’ is actually a sexual offence and we encourage victims of unwanted sexual behaviour to report any incident so that we can take action.”
A spokesman for Northern said: “We will not accept or tolerate any form of abuse directed towards our staff – or our customers – and will continue to work closely with BTP to take appropriate action against those responsible.”