Harrogate police

Hampsthwaite man in court charged with sexual assault

16 January 2023

41-year-old Paul Harper of Hampsthwaite near Harrogate was sentenced at York Crown Court on, 10 January 2023, after being found guilty of sexual assault.

In August 2021, Harper touched the woman on an intimate part of her body while she was walking with her boyfriend in Harrogate town centre.

Harper denied the offence, despite it being captured on CCTV, but was unanimously found guilty of sexual assault by a jury following his trial.

In court he was given a community order, placed on the sex offenders register for five years and ordered to pay more than £3,000 in costs. He was also given a 10-year restraining order.

North Yorkshire Police Detective Constable Holly Grosvenor led the case. She said:

Harper’s behaviour on the night of the incident has had a serious and lasting effect on his victim who was left feeling unsafe when she should have just been enjoying her evening out.

He showed complete disrespect, treating the victim as an object he seemed to believe he had a right to touch and the impact of his actions cannot be underestimated.

Harper’s sentence shows how seriously we treat all reports of sexual assault and it is saddening that these type of incidents are still a common feature in our towns and cities. I’m pleased to see his sentence reflects the severity of what he did on that night and I hope it can bring his victim some closure.

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