A WOMAN was groped twice by a man who got into a lift behind her.

Blackburn magistrates heard the woman broke down in tears when she got back to her office and took in exactly what had just happened.

Karl Grogan, 59, of Burnley Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for two years and made subject to a community order for the same period with a condition he attends a 40-day sexual offender programme. He was ordered to pay £85 costs and £128 victim surcharge.

Sazeeda Ismail, prosecuting, was working and left her office to go to the reception area where she saw Grogan with an older woman who asked her where the taxi rank was. She went back to her office and returned to the reception area again half an hour later.

"The defendant was still there and when she got into the lift he joined her," said Miss Ismail.

"She asked him which floor and they had a normal chat until she felt him grab her left bum cheek with his hand. He said he had to touch her arse because it was so nice and firm. As the lift door opened he squeezed her bum again."

Miss Ismail said as she walked off the woman could see him watching her.

"When she got back into her office the full impact of what had just happened hit her," said Miss Ismail. "She was very upset and began to cry."

Miss Ismail said Grogan had three previous convictions for sexual offences.

Bridget Hibbert, defending, said it had been an offence committed in drink which was the catalyst for all her client's offending.

She said that since the incident in August 2019 her client had engaged with Inspire, the drink and drug agency, and had not drunk since.