A 29-year-old man from Winslow has been jailed for rugby-tackling an 82-year-old woman to the ground and groping her in a sexual assault which left the pensioner scared of her own shadow.
Greg Laird also admitted two counts of indecent exposure, including one where he tried to force his way into a woman’s house and thrust his genitals through the doorway whilst it was on a chain at her home.
His first victim was walking alone last year when she said she was suddenly grabbed from behind in a “bear hug” and pulled to the ground.
Sandra Beck, prosecuting, said: “While on the ground she managed to turn over. She turned on her side and tried to get the person off her by punching him.
“There was no real reaction to her actions as she made pleas to the man and was screaming and crying, telling him ‘I’m 82 I’m 82, I don’t want this, get off me’.”
However as he wrestled with her in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, he put his hands up her shirt and under her bra to grope her breast while using his other hand to masturbate.
Miss Beck added: “She continued to struggle and grabbed hold of his penis hard to stop him doing what he was doing and as a consequence of her action, he stood up and walked away leaving her on the ground.”
Laird’s next offence happened when a woman in Winslow, Bucks., went to investigate a noise at the back of her house to find him masturbating on a wall outside.
She rushed to lock the back door but the sex offender tried to force his way in through the front door.
“He tried to force entry into her home but there was a chain on it,” said Miss Beck.
“She describes him thrusting his genitals through the gap in the door and she shouted that she was calling the police.”
Laird was charged with another incident of indecent exposure when he was spotted walking up and down looking in people’s windows in Buckingham.
CCTV was examined and Miss Beck said: “In one freeze-frame it appears he’s doing something with his genital area.”
The pensioner who Laird, of Old Station Close, Winslow, Bucks, had sexually assaulted had a victim impact statement read out in Aylesbury Crown Court.
It said: “Before this happened I was an outgoing lady who would get on the bus to go shopping and wouldn’t worry about anything.
“I had not been scared to go about my daily business. Since this happened, I am so afraid to go shopping alone, I refuse to get off at that bus stop. I have to get off at a later one and walk the long way around.
“I get scared in my house and I have to lock myself in even in the daylight.
“Recently I walked to the doctors and got frightened someone was behind me, even though it was my own shadow.
“I felt scared and am scared of my own shadow now.”
In mitigation, defence barrister Lyall Thompson said: “I make no attempt to minimise this offence. What I do attempt to do is see if there is any explanation for why this aberration would have happened.
“He says he’s never had an urge like this before. He said ‘I was feeling aroused, I saw this woman and just grabbed her’. He acknowledges the motivation was sexual.”
The defence barrister pointed to several references which had been given to the court by Laird’s friends and family, including his partner who had stood by him.
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Francis Sheridan said: “The elderly are entitled to protection from court, the same as the very young because they are vulnerable - although fair play to her she did give you a good punch in the face.
“Her fighting you off allowed police to get a swab which led to identifying you with DNA and I fully congratulate her on it.
“You took her to the ground. How wicked for a man of your age to do that to a lady of her age. She very bravely struggled and managed to turn on her side and tried to punch you.
“She was screaming and pleading and shouting for help. She shouted at you that she was 82 and she didn’t want this.
“You wickedly opened that lady’s top to put your hands under her bra to touch her breast - that is a sexual assault.
“With your other hand you were masturbating your penis. That was when she grabbed your penis. Despite the indignity of having to do that, credit to her, she did it to stop you doing anything worse.
“In mitigation there are character references. They all speak well of you and this is undoubtedly out of character but what a dreadful departure.
“I do ask that you are monitored on your release and monitored very carefully indeed.
“I’m told in mitigation this is a one-off piece of sexual deviancy. I disagree - try a three off. This is a truly dreadful piece of behaviour.”
The judge jailed Laird for three years for sexual assault, along with 10 and four month sentences for the two counts of indecent exposure for a total of four years and two months. He admitted all three offences.