Married Portsmouth dad who groped women's bottoms is told by judge: 'You are worse than a sex pest.'

A MAN who groped three women’s bottoms during a campaign of sexual assaults was told by a judge: ‘You are much worse then a sex pest.’

Saturday, 23rd January 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd January 2021, 9:27 am

Married Portsmouth father Avelino Antonio, 45, was caught red-handed but still failed to admit touching three women on their backsides in 2019.

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His unreciprocated advances, which started with verbal come-ons, soon descended into physical moves - leaving one of his victims so traumatised she was admitted to hospital with stress and anxiety.

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Antonio, of Garfield Road, North End, continued to deny his actions but was convicted by jurors at Portsmouth Crown Court of four counts of sexual assault.

At his sentencing hearing, a statement from one of his victims said the episode had left her struggling mentally. ‘I’ve lost my confidence since and I’m now overcautious when out with a group of men,’ she said.

‘It has changed me as a person. It has affected me more than I realised.’

Antonio’s other two victims said they were left ‘embarrassed and fearful’ after their ordeals.

Judge Timothy Mousley QC said: ‘Your inappropriate behaviour was verbal to begin with and then became physical.

‘It would be wrong to describe you as a sex pest because your behaviour was much worse than that.

‘You invaded their privacy and personal space. They were left humiliated - it was extremely disrespectful. You did it for your own gratification.

‘They asked you to stop but you ignored them and continued.

‘Your actions left one victim with stress and anxiety, causing her to spend time in hospital. That’s what you did to her.’

Antonio denied the offences during his trial and continued to reject any responsibility for his behaviour.

‘You still deny you did anything wrong, which is a very worrying feature of this case,’ judge Mousley said. ‘You showed absolutely no remorse whatsoever.

‘It was not an isolated incident - there was physical abuse to three women.’

Despite a recommendation from probation for a community sentence the judge said the offences were ‘too serious’ with only a jail term appropriate. ‘The only decision I have is whether to suspend it or not,’ he said.

Antonio, who had no previous convictions, was given a reprieve from immediate custody, though.

Instead he was given a 12-month jail term suspended for two years with 30 rehabilitation days and 175 hours of unpaid work.

He will have to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and has been banned from working with children and vulnerable adults.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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