A PUB manager who used his position to molest a young woman has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Shaun Firth, 34, “manipulated the situation” to be alone with the woman in the pub after closing time then pushed her against a wall and kissed her, Judge Peter Armstrong QC said.
Firth, of Beal, was manager at the pub in a village outside Selby when the incident took place in 2011, Teeside Crown Court court heard.
Patrick Palmer, prosecuting, said Firth had made “heavily suggestive comments” toward the woman, then pushed her against a wall on a number of occasions, kissed her, and either grabbed or slapped her.
Firth was accused of sexual assault against a second woman and while awaiting trial on both allegations, broke bail conditions by going to one of the women’s home to discuss whether she would continue her case against him, and intimidating her.
In December, a jury acquitted Firth of sexually assaulting the second woman, but convicted him of intimidating her, and of sexual assaulting the first woman. He had denied all charges.
Matthew Donkin, mitigating, said Firth, who now works at a different pub, had made dreadful and foolish mistakes that he was hoping to move on from.
Judge Armstrong told Firth the charge of witness intimidation alone was serious enough for custody, and said he had been “very foolish”.
Firth was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a 12-month community order with supervision. He was also instructed to pay £1,200 in prosecution costs, and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.