Drunken man groped 12-year-old in Grimsby town centre street
A MAN sought refuge in Grimsby Top Town shops after groping a 12-year-old girl in the street.
The girl's friends followed Benjamin Forster, 33, of Harrison House, Grimsby, and called the police, Grimsby Crown Court heard.
He was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for a year and ordered to undergo supervision from the probation service. Judge David Tremberg also ordered he should be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for five years.
Forster, who has mental health problems, had denied the charge of sexually assaulting the 12-year-old in Victoria Street, Grimsby, on June 17.
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But following a trial at Grimsby Magistrates' Court he was found guilty and the case was committed to the higher court for sentencing.
Prosecuting, Gordon Stables told how drunken Forster had initially approached Louisa Wiltshire at a cash point in the Victoria Street precinct on Sunday afternoon June 17.
He shouted at the woman: "Give me some money."
A short time later he approached a 12-year-old who was walking with friends and groped her breasts with both hands.
After she fended him off he walked behind her and attempted to smack her bottom.
Mr Stables said the victim was angry and became irate with Forster who was followed along the road.
He walked into Jessops camera shop to take refuge while the girl and her friends stood outside shouting "paedo" at him.
The staff threw him out of the shop and he made his way into the now closed Early Learning Centre store.
He told staff he was being harassed by the group outside who carried on shouting "You are running into a kid's shop after touching up a 12-year-old."
Forster told staff he had done nothing to the girl. Police officers arrived and he was arrested.
For Forster, Simon Hirst said his client had failed to take medication for mental health problems and had been drinking.
Giving evidence about her son's mental health problems, mother Elizabeth Forster told the court: "On Friday, April 13, he had a character change. I had never seen him like that before."
She told of the treatment he had received and said she felt he had been discharged from hospital prematurely.
She said: "He knows what he has done is beyond the pale. It will never happen again."