Former Tesco team leader avoids jail after sexually assaulting three women

Nigel Burns, 47, of Swallow Road, Ipswich, admitted seven sex offences at Ipswich Crown Court.

Nigel Burns, 47, of Swallow Road, Ipswich, admitted five offences of sexual assault and two of indecent exposure at Ipswich Crown Court. - Credit: GREGG BROWN

A 47-year-old former team leader at an Ipswich town centre Tesco store who sexually assaulted three women has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Nigel Burns, who was previously employed at the St Matthew’s Street branch, indecently exposed himself to one of the victims while saying: “Come and sit on this”, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He had also walked up behind all three victims and rubbed himself against them, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Joe Bird, prosecuting, said Burns had committed the offences over a number of years.

Burns of Swallow Road, Ipswich, admitted five offences of sexual assault and two of indecent exposure.

He was given a 15-month prison sentence suspended for 24 months and ordered to take part in a sex offenders rehabilitation programme.

He will also be electronically monitored 6pm and 6am for three months, as well as being given a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement and banned from approaching the victims for ten years.

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He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years.

Sentencing him Judge Emma Peters said he had “degraded and humiliated” the women.

She said he had lost his job as a result of his behaviour.

Referring to the unwanted coming up behind the women and rubbing himself against them, she said: “Women don’t want that. Women don’t find that in any way pleasurable.”

She said that she had taken into consideration the fact that Burns didn’t have any previous convictions and that he cared for his elderly parents when deciding not to send him straight to prison.

Judge Peters warned Burns that if he breached any of the conditions of the suspended sentence order he would be brought back to court and could be jailed.

Stephen Mather for Burns said his client had no previous convictions.

He said Burns had touched the women over clothing and hadn’t touched their skin.

Mr Mather described the offences as “deplorable “ and said his client was remorseful.

He said he was currently unemployed and on benefits.