Soldier admits sex assault on bar worker

A BOOZED-up soldier is today awaiting his fate after he admitted groping a member of staff at an Ipswich bar.

A BOOZED-up soldier is today awaiting his fate after he admitted groping a member of staff at an Ipswich bar.

Steven Parker, 22, a squaddie with the army air corps at Wattisham, pleaded guilty to sexual assault after he grabbed the female worker's genitals.

He admitted the charge when he appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The court heard that Parker, who is due to be deployed to Afghanistan in May, had gone out to watch the rugby with two friends on February 28 in a pub and carried on drinking before ending up at the bar, which can not be named for legal reasons.


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Stephen Colman, prosecuting, said that at around 1am as the victim walked past, Parker reached out and put his hand between her legs.

Mr Colman said: “She said that the third male (Parker) put his right hand between her legs and lifted his hand up. It was a deliberate act. She was distressed that the male would do this.

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“She said she grabbed his hand as he did this and then one of the supervisors took the man through to the main entrance.”

Parker, from Tonypandy in Mid Glamorgan, was then arrested and later told police that he was so drunk he could not remember the incident.

Roger Thomson, mitigating, said: “It was a single act rather than persistent behaviour. It was fleeting contact and was more offensive than threatening.”

A statement by his commanding officer, which was read to the court, said that Parker was well liked by his colleagues and that the offence was “thoroughly out of character”.

The statement said that a suspended sentence would see Parker discharged from the army and miss the four-and-a-half month deployment to Afghanistan.

The case has been adjourned until April 22 for a pre-sentence report to be carried out. He was also required to sign the sex offenders' register before being released on unconditional bail.

Have you been the victim of crime? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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