January 2001

Man free after sex assault on teenager

A MAN who dragged a teenager into his home and assaulted her while she was out collecting money walked free from court yesterday.

The girl, who is not being named, called at Philip Hunter’s home on June 29, to collect a weekly payment.

However, Newcastle Crown Court heard how Hunter, 47, dragged her into the house before trying to kiss and touch her, while his son played an his computer upstairs.

The 15-year-old had told the court: “He grabbed my arm and pulled me in. His hands were all over me, touching my bottom. He was kissing my neck and trying to kiss me properly with his tongue.

“He jumped in front of me and shut the door, but I managed to get the door open and get out. He grabbed the back of me, but I pushed him and managed to get out.”

The youngster was left so petrified that she immediately quit her job.

Hunter was arrested, but told police that he had invited the girl in because he was watching the football on TV and did not want to miss any.

He insisted that he had done nothing to the girl.

However, a jury found Hunter, of Holylake Square, Hylton Lane, Sunderland, guilty of indecent assault.

He was ordered to pay £150 compensation, £150 costs and put on probation for 12 months.

Judge Michael Cartlidge said: “Whatever you might say, there is no doubt she was sufficiently upset to stop coming to your door and not continue with her job.”

Hunter was also put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.