120 hours’ community service for man who touched woman’s thigh during a ‘group hug’

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A 27-YEAR-OLD man who engaged a woman in a ‘group hug’ and then touched her thigh has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service.

The Magistrate’s Court heard that, as a result of the incident, the victim had suffered panic attacks and had been left frightened to go out after Kieran Matthew Le Lievre sexually touched her without consent.

Le Lievre admitted the charge when he appeared in court.

Legal adviser Paul Lee, prosecuting, said: ‘She was crying. She was scared to go out for fear she would bump into the suspect again.

‘She suffered panic attacks and couldn’t concentrate on her coursework and studies. She has missed college.’

The court also heard that Le Lievre had a previous conviction for a sexual offence from March 2021.

Advocate Nicholas Mière, defending, said that his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He said the contact made was ‘fleeting’ and added: ‘There was no intention to touch higher up her leg.

‘There is 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.’

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 the 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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