A 27-year-old sex offender been handed community service and a probation order after touching a woman's thigh during a "group hug", leaving her suffering panic attacks.
Kieran Matthew Le Lievre - who was previously convicted and sentenced for a sexual offence in March 2021 - pleaded guilty to the charge in the Magistrate's Court on Friday.
Prosecuting, legal adviser Paul Lee explained that the unwanted sexual touching of the victim's leg had left her "crying" and "scared to go out for fear she would bump into the suspect again."
Advocate Nicholas Mière, defending, said the contact made was "fleeting" and added: "There was no intention to touch higher up her leg."
He said his client, who admitted the offence at the earliest opportunity, felt "plain remorse".
"He feels he made a terrible error. There was a catastrophic misreading of the situation. Mr Le Lievre clearly understands the impact of his actions," Advocate Mière added.
The lawyer told the court that Le Lievre had a fiancée and a baby on the way, and said: "He is determined to become a good husband and father."
Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris accepted that the touching had been brief and was above the woman's clothing, rather than on bare skin.
As well as 120 hours' community service, Le Lievre was given a 12-month probation order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
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