September 2023

Pensioner banned from travelling alone on buses after touching girl

A pensioner is now banned from travelling alone on buses at certain times of the day after inappropriately touching a girl.

Malcolm Leather was the subject of a police CCTV appeal for information earlier this year following the disturbing incident.

The 69-year-old was identified and brought to justice after being sentenced at Warrington Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Yvonne Dobson informed the court how the defendant was charged with assault of a girl under 13 by touching.

At sometime between 3pm and 3.30pm on Friday, February 17, a 12-year-old girl was travelling on the number three bus between Warrington Bus Station and the Manchester Road bus stop next to Beresford Street.

During the journey, an unknown man inappropriately touched her leg with his hand.

As stated in the charge to which he indicated a guilty plea, Leather intentionally touched the girl, with the touching being sexual.

Cheshire Police officers investigating the incident subsequently issued CCTV images of a suspect they wanted to speak to.

They said at the time that the incident was believed to be isolated and that they had been conducting a number of enquiries to trace the person responsible.

After pleading guilty, Leather, of Samuel Street in Sankey Bridges, was sentenced by deputy district judge Angharad Davies to an 18-month community order.

This includes 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days, while he must also pay a fine of £120, costs to the Crown Prosecution Service of £120 and a surcharge to fund victim services of £114.

In addition, he must sign the sex offender register for the next five years and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.

One prohibition in the latter bans him from travelling alone on public transport, namely buses and trains, between the hours of 7.30am and 9.30am, and from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

The order states that travelling within these times, Leather must be accompanied at all times by a support worker or other adult expressly approved by social services.