A bereaved pensioner has been put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years after touching a woman’s breast and asking if she wore a g-string.
A court heard that retired hosiery worker Peter Johnson also pressed himself against his victim and said: “I would.”
The incident happened shortly after the death of his wife and had left him ‘utterly remorseful, ashamed and extremely embarrassed’, said his solicitor.
Ten weeks’ custody, suspended for a year, were imposed on Johnson of Middleton Road, Ilkeston, who admitted the sexual touching of a woman on April 1. He will have to wear an electronic tag for eight weeks of a curfew.
Hannah Pritchard, mitigating, said Johnson was feeling lonely following the death of both his father-in-law and wife after 39 years of marriage.
Miss Pritchard said: “He is 71 and has never been before the courts before his good name was lost so dramatically as a result of this offence.
“It is only by looking back and appreciating the situation of the complainant can he understand how unacceptable his actions were that day.
“The death of his wife was extremely difficult and left him feeling extremely lonely. Nobody can punish Mr Johnson more than he has punished himself since this offence.”
George Speed, prosecuting, said the offence began when he sat beside the woman on a sofa in his home. He put an arm around her and then stroked her back over her clothing for five minutes.
“He then put a hand down the back of her jeans and asked if she wore g-strings. He leant towards her and tweaked her nipple under and over her clothing,” he said at the magistrates’ court in Derby.
As she left, he pressed himself against her and said: “I would.”
Mr Speed added: “He was regarded as ‘touchy feely’. That was his style.”
The court was told that Johnson had served 50 years in the St John’s Ambulance Service, giving up his spare time to help people at events like football matches and carnivals. He had been awarded with a ‘serving brother’ medal and one for 30 years service.
District Judge Sophie Toms told him: “I accept this was wholly out of character. One can only question what was going through your mind.
“I do accept you had a good character and have carried out good work for the community and had a difficult time but this offence is very serious indeed. You acted persistently.”
The judge imposed a two-year order which bars Johnson from trying to contact the woman or go within 100 metres of her.
The court heard that Johnson worked 46 years for a hosiery firm before the job was made redundant. He then spent six years working at a care home before retiring.
He must pay £400 prosecution costs and a £80 government surcharge.