A MAN twice sexually touched a woman and later physically assaulted both her and her partner when they remonstrated with him, a court was told.

Darran Hole initially denied charges arising from the alleged incidents, dating from September, 2018.

But, on the day of his scheduled trial, at Durham Crown Court, on March 10, Hole, 54, of Greathead Crescent, Newton Aycliffe, changed his pleas to guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one each of unlawful wounding and assault by beating.

The sentencing hearing heard he has only two past convictions, none since 1986.

Vince Ward, prosecuting, said in the latter confrontation, Hole pushed the victim, causing a displaced wrist fracture, then punched her partner, who fell over a small fence, before hitting him again as he got to his feet.

The court heard of the problems the attacks have had on the woman, who has had difficulty in being able to work due to the wrist injury.

Stephen Constantine, in mitigation, said there have been no further difficulties, since the incidents.

Judge Ray Singh imposed a two-year prison sentence, but told Hole that, “by the skin of his teeth”, he was able to suspend it, also for two years, during which he must perform 150-hours’ unpaid work, complete 90 days on a sex offender accredited programme and 30 days of rehabilitation activity requirement with the Probation Service.

He will also be subject to registration as a sex offender, for ten years.

A restraining order prohibits Hole from contacting or approaching his victim for the next five years.