A DRUNKEN pensioner who twice touched a teenager's thigh on a bus after offered to buy her fish and chips has been ordered to pay £250 compensation.
David Rivers, 74, sat next to the 18-year-old and told her she should be a model during the journey between Newton Aycliffe and Ferryhill on November 4 last year, a court heard.
He then invited her to his house and offered to buy her a drink and fish and chips before twice touching her thigh.
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Rivers was sentenced at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court, after he was convicted at an earlier hearing. He had denied sexual assault.
Vickie Wilson, prosecuting said: “Around 4.50pm the victim got onto the bus in Darlington. It was full of students but she put her earphones in and there was no problem.
“When the bus reached Woodham, near Newton Aycliffe, a man in a cream jacket got on. He walked towards the rear of the bus.
“His breath smelt strongly of alcohol and he sat a few rows behind the victim.
“He then got up and the teenager thought he was going to get off the bus but he sat next to her.
“Rivers nudged the victim and she felt uncomfortable and she ignored him. He began to talk to her and said she was a pretty girl and that she should be a model.
“He asked if she liked having her picture taken and she felt quite scared.
“Rivers said to her ’why don’t you come home with me and I’ll buy you drink and fish and chips’.”
As the bus entered Ferryhill, Rivers twice put his hand on the youngster’s thigh.
Rivers, of Bethany Court, Woodham, got off the bus in Ferryhill market place but was later arrested.
Emma Richards, mitigating, said: “He did not intend any harm. He thought he was just chatting and joking with her.
“He now realises that his behaviour was unacceptable. He is not a dangerous offender and alcohol clouded his judgement.
“He has been evicted from his home because of the proceedings.”
A prosecution bid for a restraining order on Rivers was refused by the court.
He was sentenced to a two year conditional discharge and will pay £200 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge on top of the compensation.