February 2023

‘Vile’ Solihull man jailed for sexually assaulting lone teen on train

A ‘sleazy’ Solihull man who sexually assaulted a teenager on a train has been jailed.

Ben Pountney, 30, targeted the 17-year-old victim on a quiet train.

Pountney, of Swallows Meadow, Solihull, boarded a quiet train from Stratford-Upon-Avon and sat opposite the victim, Warwick Crown Court heard.

He proceeded to persistently ask the teen about her shoes and went on to sexually assault her, before leaving the train.

Labelled “vile” by investigating officers, Pountney pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault at a trial on December 5 2022. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison at trial on Thursday, January 26.

Officers say Pountney was identified and arrested following help from the public and a media appeal.

The court heard how on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the 17-year-old victim was travelling on a quiet train from Stratford-upon-Avon when a man boarded a few stops later and sat opposite her.

She noticed the man looking at her and after a short while, he began speaking to her. He persistently asked about the shoes she was wearing and her shoe size.

He stated that he wanted to buy a similar pair for his niece while getting closer to the girl and leaning in towards her. He then sexually assaulted her and got off the train.

Following a number of enquiries and a media appeal to the public, Pountney was later identified and arrested.

Pountney was sentenced to 20 months in prison, handed a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years at his sentencing