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Burnley sex-offender gets suspended sentence
A CONVICTED sex offender, who assaulted a frightened teenage girl at a house in Burnley, has won his freedom.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Anthony Hart, 22, was subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order at the time, but had not flouted it as the victim was not under 16.
He left the girl scared and shocked by his actions.
The defendant pushed the girl on her back as she sat on the floor, squeezed her wrists tightly, and began to kiss her neck.
She was scared, and was crying, and told him to stop.
Prosecutor Austin Welch told the hearing: “He asked if she had ever slept with a man, and indicated he would like to sleep with her.”
Hart then sat next to the victim on the settee and again he tried to assault her.
She moved away, but he grabbed her.
The defendant was later arrested, and interviewed, and made no comment to all questions. Hart, recently of Spencer Street, Burnley, had admitted sexual assault on January 19.
Hart, who had spent almost seven months, the equivalent of a 14-month sentence, on remand in custody, was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision.
The hearing was told Hart had a record going back to 2005, when he was a juvenile.
In October 2009, he had been convicted of detaining a child without lawful authority after a school-girl was found hiding in his bedroom.
In April 2011, he admitted allegations of sexual activity with a female under 16.
James Heyworth, for Hart, said, in all cases, he had been living alone and had befriended, or been befriended, by people younger than him.
He seemed more at home in the company of younger people, in their mid-teens.
The barrister said: “His social functioning is perhaps not what would be expected of a 22-year-old.”
Mr Heyworth said the defendant had spent almost seven months on remand.
He added: “He has a number of mental health symptoms which have been exacerbated by the custodial environment.”