Landlord sentenced for sex assualt

THE landlord of a village pub sexually assaulted a young barmaid in a "drunken moment of madness", a court has heard.

THE landlord of a village pub sexually assaulted a young barmaid in a "drunken moment of madness", a court has heard.

Trevor Mills, 57, had never before shown any inappropriate behaviour towards his victim before he launched his attack in the bar of the White Horse public house in Sturmer Road, Kedington, near Haverhill.

Mills, who has worked in the licensed trade for 40 years, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced after pleading guilty to a charge of sexual assault.

The court heard how on November 2 last year Mills had been drinking with a friend and had begun

making salacious comments towards the young woman - who was working behind the bar - and had asked her to sleep with him.

David Pickersgill, prosecuting, said that on the pretext of wanting to dance with her, Mills had touched the woman's back, put his hand between the lower part of her legs before touching and squeezing her breasts.

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The incident had taken place in front of customers and caused the young woman extreme embarrassment and distress, said Mr Pickersgill.

The court was told that as a result of the incident the barmaid immediately handed in her notice and left to take up another job.

Mitigating, Nicola May said that the offence had not been reported to police until December 28 after efforts to settle the matter out of court with a compensation payment broke down.

Mills had no previous convictions and now faced the possible loss of his licence, she said.

She said the father of seven had succumbed to a "drunken moment of madness".

Imposing a 30 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, Judge Neil McKittrick told Mills: “She had the right to work at that public house doing all the duties that a member of bar staff undertakes without being subjected to that sort of behaviour.”

In addition Mills was told he will remain under Probation Service supervision for the next 12 months and must obtain permission from the Probation Service if he wants to change jobs within that same period.

Mills was ordered to sign the Sexual Offences Register and must also pay £900 towards the costs of bringing the prosecution.

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