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Man jailed for assaulting shop worker

PUBLISHED: 11:42 24 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

AN IPSWICH man who indecently assaulted a shop assistant after a drinking binge is today starting a six month prison term.

Anthony Flatt drunk a bottle of vodka and six cans of strong lager before making unwanted advances on a 43-year-old Ipswich woman while she was working.

AN IPSWICH man who indecently assaulted a shop assistant after a drinking binge is today starting a six month prison term.

Anthony Flatt drunk a bottle of vodka and six cans of strong lager before making unwanted advances on a 43-year-old Ipswich woman while she was working.

Flatt, of Halifax Road, pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent assault.

At Ipswich Crown Court yesterday the court heard that on September 21 the 48-year-old kissed the woman, touched her chest and offered her money for sex. He had been drinking to celebrate becoming a grandfather for the first time.

Jeremy Dugdale, prosecuting, told the court that Flatt approached the woman, who can not be named for legal reasons, in an Ipswich furniture shop.

He said: "He stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head several times. He then began touching her chest and rubbing her breasts and tried to pull her towards him."

Mr Dugdale added that Flatt gave the woman a false name and lied by telling her he had just come out of prison.

The woman, who was said to have been "terrified" by the assault was able to provide a detailed description to police.

When interviewed Flatt said he could not remember the incident, but did not deny it had happened.

Saqib Rauf, in mitigation, said: "The defendant acknowledges just how serious a matter this is particularly as the victim didn't know him, she was alone in the shop and the effect it had on her and the worry that he might return."

He added: "He was extremely drunk, and that is not an excuse but an explanation as to why he may have acted in the manner he did, which is totally out of character for him.

Mr Rauf said that Flatt, who has no previous convictions, had stopped drinking since the incident.

In sentencing, his Honour Brian Watling QC, warned Flatt he could face a much longer sentence if he re-offends when he is released from prison.

He was sentenced to six months custodial sentence, half of which will be served behind bars.

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