A man sent sexualised Snapchat messages to a 16-year-old colleague and prodded her bum with a mop handle.

Adam Hulme was 28 when he sexually assaulted the teen and sent her explicit messages asking her to perform sex acts on him.

The now 31-year-old, of Halfpenny Lane, Longridge, denied the charge of sexual assault and took the case to trial. However, he attempted to flee to Scotland to avoid prosecution and in doing so committed a bail act offence.

When he was eventually apprehended, he stood trial in October, where he admitted to the bail act offence and was then convicted by jury of sexual assault.

Prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, Daniel Calder said Hulme had been working with the young girl in 2019 when he requested her as a friend on social media.

Mr Calder said: “The conversation turned to one of sexual matters and the defendant asked the girl if she was a virgin.

“He continued to ask her questions and she asked him why he wanted to know.

“He then asked if she would perform a sex act on him before later picking up a mop handle and prodding her bottom with it from behind and saying to her, ‘you like that don’t you’.

“She then received more inappropriate Snapchat messages from him before telling her mother and a colleague which is when the police were called.”

Hulme was interviewed and denied his actions but by the time of the trial he accepted he had sent her messages but continued to deny the sexual assault.

Hulme, who has one prior minor public order conviction dating back to 2014 admitted the bail act offence in the middle of his trial last year after failing to attend the start of proceedings.

Sentencing, Judge Darren Preston said: “Your victim was 16-years-old when you tried to engage he in sexual conversation over the course of a day.

“You have taken no responsibility for your actions and continue to deny the indefensible.

“You were in a position of relative power, being older than her, and she has been affected by what you did to her, socially and psychologically.

“You also tried to run away from your trial.”

Hulme was handed a 12 month community order, told to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, was made subject to notification requirements for five years and must pay court costs of £1,000.