Pervert who assaulted girl in St Albans escapes jail sentence


- Credit: Archant

A man who sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in a St Albans flat and was reported by his sex offender friend recently escaped a jail sentence.

Paul Lusty received a five month prison sentence suspended for two years at St Albans Crown Court.

The 46-year-old, who has a low IQ, knew the girl and collected her from school and took her to the flat of a friend called Ted, who has a conviction for a child sex offence.

The court was told Lusty knew about his 40-year-old friend’s offence and had previously spoken to him about the girl in an intimate way.

Prosecutor Andrew Howarth said they were laughing and joking in the flat before the girl said she had to leave at 5pm for a club.

At the door, Lusty exposed the girl’s chest by pulling down her top.

They left and the girl said nothing to her mother but Ted was ‘troubled’ by what had happened.

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Mr Howarth said: “He slept on it and telephoned the police the next day.”

The girl was interviewed and said she thought the defendant had been “clowning around”.

Lusty, now of West Avenue, Chelmsford, denied anything had happened but on the day his trial was due to start he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the girl on May 18 last year.

He had previous convictions for GBH and theft, but no sexual convictions.

Defence barrister Catherine Bradshaw said Lusty, a former labourer, was unemployed and had not worked for a number of years.

He had a low IQ of 68 and a mild learning disability. She said it had been a “one off” incident.

Judge Marie Catterson passed a five-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered Lusty to carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work and attend 10 sessions of education and training.

He is banned from having contact with girls aged under 16 for seven years and will be on the Sex Offender Register for seven years.

Sentencing, the judge said the victim was a “down to earth girl” who had described his actions as “clowning around”. But she went on: “Quite what your [Lusty’s] motive was, only you know.”