Sex attacker grabbed and groped Portsmouth student in street after following her late at night
A SEX attacker admitted grabbing and groping a university student in the street before warning her: ‘Tell anyone and you’re dead.’
Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Aaron Fergusson, 32, followed the victim, in her 20s, as she walked in Cross Street, Portsea, at just before 11pm.
CCTV caught unemployed Fergusson watching his victim while he was cycling along before springing his attack in ‘five minutes of madness’ leaving her bruised.
Richard Barton, prosecuting, said: ‘She was in the centre of Portsmouth with a pull-along trolley travelling to a friend’s house.
‘This defendant followed her. CCTV shows him originally on a bicycle, then leaving the bicycle and following ahead of her and keeping her within his sight.
‘He grabbed her from behind, he grabbed her breasts and grabbed her bottom, and that attack was caught on CCTV.’
Mr Barton added: ‘He’s seen, after he’s grabbed her, moving away and coming back, and she says that he said to her: “Tell anyone and you’re dead”.’
Today Fergusson, who has an undiagnosed mental disorder, begged a judge not to jail him - repeatedly interrupting the sentencing.
‘I promise you, I will never do anything again, ever. I’ve worked for 16 years, I’ve never been in trouble with the law,’ he said.
Fergusson handed himself into police and admitted what he had done after police launched an appeal to find him. He had been caught on CCTV with his bike at a nearby takeaway.
Judge Timothy Mousley QC said: ‘She asked you on two occasions to stop. You did not stop immediately. Eventually you let go. She thought it lasted for over a minute. You describe that as being five minutes of madness.’
Dressed in a Pompey hoodie, with his mum in a Pompey home shirt in the public gallery, Fergusson hit back: ‘Thirty seconds your honour.’
The judge said: ‘Whether it was 30 seconds or longer what you have failed to do until recently is to see it from (her) point of view.
‘She describes herself as being completely traumatised, scared, violated and she says in a statement that she was, and still remains, worried about going out on her own at night.’
Judge Mousley said there was a ‘very real prospect’ that he had changed his ways after hearing Fergusson had not drunk alcohol for a month and was seeking counselling for childhood issues.
The judge imposed an 18-month sentence suspended for two years with 150 hours’ unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation days and a sex offender treatment programme.
Fergusson, of Queens Grove, in Waterlooville, admitted sexual assault but denied touching the woman’s breasts. A judge at a previous hearing ruled he did.
He must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.