A MAN who grabbed a 16-year-old girl’s bottom while she was walking to school has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Le-An Kane, 28, touched the teenager without her permission in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, on the morning of Thursday, April 3.

Magistrates in Newton Aycliffe heard the victim was wearing her school uniform at the time of the offence.

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Rachael Dodsworth, prosecuting, said the girl had passed Kane, of Evenwood Gate, while walking through the town centre.

“As he went passed she felt a grab and squeeze on one of her bum cheeks,” said Mrs Dodsworth. “The same man who had walked towards her was walking away.”

Mrs Dodsworth read a statement from the schoolgirl in which she described feeling “upset and disgusted”.

“I did not give him permission to lay his hands on me,” said the victim.

“I feel upset and disgusted someone has grabbed my bum. I feel dirty. I was wearing my school uniform at the time and I worry he will do this so someone else.”

Clive Booth, mitigating, said the incident was completely out of character for Kane, who has no previous convictions.

He said his client had been reprimanded at work and had felt depressed that morning.

“When Mr Kane was arrested he admitted straight away what he had done,” said Mr Booth.

“He said he had had problems at work and he couldn’t explain why he did what he did.

“He admits he walked past the girl and touched her bum and he regrets this. He feels disgusted with himself and feels remorse and sorrow for what has happened.”

Mr Booth said Kane, who has a girlfriend and lives with his parents, would have to live with the fact he had lost his good character.

“It was a momentary offence lasting a very short time and he was very co-operative with the police,” he added.

Magistrates adjourned the case for probation reports until Thursday, May 22.

Kane’s bail was extended until that date.