A SHOPWORKER kissed and groped a customer as she tried to leave the store.

Burnley Crown Court heard how married Qaisar Mahmood had tried to entice his victim to invite him round to her house in the weeks leading up to the assault in January, last year.

When that didn’t work 40-year-old Mahmood then kissed and groped his victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, as she attempted to leave the A To Z Off Licence, Raglan Road, Burnley.

Mahmood was found guilty of sexual assault at a trial.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman said: “Your victim was a 35-year-old woman.

“You got it into your head that she would somehow respond to your advances and before January 9 last year you were suggesting to her she ought to invite you round to her house.

“As she was leaving the shop where you worked you approached her. She thought you were going to open the door for her but instead what you did was kiss her on the cheek and squeeze her breasts over her clothing.

“As a result of that she was shocked, humiliated and upset. Her anger was still obvious at the trial. It was a disgraceful incident.

“You should be ashamed of yourself. I know you still deny it but the jury heard the evidence and 12 of them were satisfied that you did it.”

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Mahmood, of Raglan Road, Burnley, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault. The court heard how he had one previous conviction for possessing goods with a false trademark for sale or hire.

Defending, Daniel Calder said his client, who is currently unemployed, continued to deny kissing or groping the victim.

Judge Woolman said under the sentencing guidelines the offences fell under the lowest category for sexual assault, which recommended a community sentence.

Mahmood, who appeared in the dock with a Punjabi interpreter, was given a 12-month community order and told do 150 hours of unpaid work.

A 12-month restraining order was also imposed and Mahmood was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for five years .

Judge Woolman added: “You must do that work and do it properly. If you don’t then you can be brought back to court and be sent to prison.”