A NORTH Yorkshire bus driver used a vulnerable woman’s bus pass to prey on her before sexually assaulting her.

Chris Paul Clipsham sexually assaulted the woman who is now fearful of men as a result.

The 44-year-old of Blackthorn Close, Whitley, was given a suspended prison sentence at York Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, March 28).

Clipsham admitted to three charges of sexual assault at an earlier hearing.

He used a social media site to search for the victim’s name which he had noted from her bus pass, North Yorkshire Police said.

He then began to befriend the victim via social media. On the night of the incident, he picked the woman up in his car and drove her to a quiet location where he sexually assaulted her.

Assault left 'significant and lasting impact on victim' - police

PC Laura Wright from North Yorkshire Police who investigated the case, said: “This is a case of opportunistic sexual assault of a vulnerable victim. The assault has left a significant and lasting impact on the victim who continues to have flashbacks and has been left feeling unsafe and fearful of men.

“The victim should be commended on the bravery she has shown throughout this process. She has shown immense courage and determination in order to get justice for what has happened to her.

“I would like to reassure anyone who has suffered any form of sexual abuse that you will always be listened to, and all allegations will be thoroughly investigated.”

Clipsham was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years, ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £114. He was also ordered to carry out rehabilitation activity and 150 hours of unpaid work. 

A police spokesperson added: “If you are a victim of sexual assault or rape, please do not hesitate to contact the police.”