Suspended sentence for Holbeach man who sexually assaulted teenager and masturbated on bus

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court
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A 61-year-old man groped a teenager on a service bus after sitting down next to her, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Mike Torsello boarded the service at Spalding bus station, sitting on the back seat, and then made a comment to the 19-year-old girl as the bus set off.

Hal Ewing, prosecuting, said that moments later the girl felt a hand on her right thigh and realised that Torsello was touching her.

“The pressure increased. His hand then moved up her thigh towards her bottom. She describes freezing.”

The teenager moved to another seat and realised that Torsello was masturbating.

When the bus reached her stop she got off and was met by her mother. Police were called and Torsello was arrested.

Mr Ewing said that at the time of the incident Torsello was on bail after being arrested for his behaviour on a train between Peterborough and Huntingdon.

On that occasion he boarded a train at Peterborough Station together with his wife and initially sat with her but then moved carriageways to sit on his own.

Torsello was recognised by a police officer on the train who kept an eye on him. The officer saw Torsello then sit near to a woman passenger and begin to masturbate.

Torsello was arrested and interviewed the same day.

Mr Ewing said: “He made the comment that the woman was attractive but he denied doing anything.”

The court was told that in January 2011 Torsello received a suspended jail sentence for two charges of sexual assault. Both involved offences against women on buses.

Torsello, of Victoria Street, Holbeach, admitted charges of sexual assault and outraging public decency as a result of the incident on the bus on November 22. He also admitted outraging public decency during the train journey on February 15.

He was given a 15 month jail sentence suspended for two years together with a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Deputy Judge Michael Stokes QC, passing sentence, told him: “You have to learn that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated. If you do it again you are going to prison. Go away and don’t let me see you again.”

Philip Plant, in mitigation, said that Torsello has a mild learning disability and helps care for his wife.

“His wife is dependant on him for lots of things. Without him she is very nervous and would be vulnerable.”