Rohtash Singh, aged 43, has been spared jailed after he was convicted in court. He had kept his hand on the woman’s leg for about half an hour on the bus from Piccadilly Gardens to Parrs Wood in Didsbury .
The young woman in her 20’s was on her way home from work when she said he sat next to her and squished her up against the window.
According to the Manchester Evening News:
About ten minutes into the journey, she felt a little finger on her right thigh, prosecutor Justin Hayhoe said.
She thought nothing of it at first, and believed Singh may have fallen asleep.
He then put his full palm on her leg, leaving it there for about 30 to 40 minutes until the bus arrived at Parrs Wood.
The court heard she was ‘frozen to her seat in panic’ and felt unable to react.
When he eventually removed his hand, Singh asked her whether she went to university, questioning which she felt ‘threatened’ by, the court heard.
As he got off the bus he thanked her. “She was perplexed as she had done nothing to merit that remark,” sentencing Judge Michael Leeming said. When she got off the bus, she told a nearby security guard of her ordeal. “The complainant was terribly upset by her experience at your hands. She felt extremely scared and panic stricken,” the judge said.
Singh remained in the area, and she felt as though he was watching her, the court heard.
In what the judge described as an ‘utterly bizarre’ move, Singh ‘passed out’ after being confronted by the security guard, in an attempt to seem shocked at the accusations, the court was told.
During the trial Singh maintained his denials, and said that any touching would have been ‘accidental’ and ‘fleeting’.He claimed it must have been down to him having a heavy bag on his lap, and having a condition that makes his fingers go numb.
Defending, Anthony O’Donohoe said following his conviction Singh has lost his call centre job, and is suffering from depression.
At today’s sentencing hearing, the court heard that there had been 12 character references submitted on Singh’s behalf, speaking of his ‘honesty, integrity and caring nature’.
Judge Leeming said in his summing up:
There is no room for that sort of comment in a character reference uploaded for a sentencing hearing.
The jury were sure that the complainant was telling the truth and you were not.
The judge said that Singh had received sexual gratification by committing the act, and that he had showed no remorse.
A lone female is entitled to travel on public transport safely without being the subject unwarranted attention, let alone being subjected to a sexual assault by a pest like you. You took the opportunity that sitting next to her afforded you.
Singh was sentenced to 12 months in prison but it was suspended for 12 months meaning he will spend no time in Prison He was convicted of one count of sexual assault after a trial.
He must also complete 250 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
Singh is also signed up to the sex offender’s register for 10 years.