A MAN has been banned indefinitely from Selby to protect the woman he groped in a town centre shop.

Nick Adlington, prosecuting, said Nigel Gilroy Smith had made lewd comments to a woman before pinning her against one of the shop’s fixtures when they were alone in the shop and sexually assaulting her. He didn’t stop until an elderly woman came into the shop.

Now, she was afraid Smith might attack her again.

Smith, 27, tried to pass off his actions to police as “a bit of messing about”, York Crown Court heard.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst said the incident was not harmless fun and the woman had been terrified.

“She must have been extremely anxious something more serious would have happened had that elderly lady not come into the shop,” he told Smith.

“Anyone working alone .... is entitled to look to the courts to take a dim view about people like you.”

He made a restraint order banning him from going to Selby or contacting the woman in any way.

“She is entitled to go to work without the fear of you being round the next corner,” he told Smith. He also took into consideration that Smith had delayed his guilty plea to sexual assault until the day he was due to stand trial and that the woman had had months of anxiety thinking she would have go through the ordeal of giving evidence.

Smith, of Carlton Caravan Site, Carlton near Goole, was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years on condition he did 12 months’ supervision.

He will also be on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

For him, David Hall said he lived with his parents who had kept him under virtual arrest since the incident and he wanted to apologise for what he had done.