Midhurst man found guilty of sexual assault at London tube station


A 21-year-old man has been found guilty of sexually touching a young woman as she travelled on the London Underground, following a British Transport Police investigation.

John Robert Smith, of Barlavington Way, Midhurst, was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 29 November.

He was given a six month community order and ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work in the next year. He must also pay a victim surcharge of £85, costs of £750 and sign the sex offenders register for five years.

Investigating officer PC Daniel Thompson said: “This was a frightening experience for the young woman which understandably left her shocked and shaken.

“We’d also like to thank the off-duty officer involved, for intervening and offering immediate support to Smith’s victim at a hugely distressing time and helping us to bring Smith to justice."

The court heard how on Tuesday 17 April this year, Smith inappropriately touched his 18-year-old victim, as she reached the top of the escalator at London Waterloo Underground Station.

An off duty Metropolitan Police officer, who saw Smith move close to his victim and initially assumed he was about to pickpocket her, witnessed the assault. The officer immediately pulled Smith to one side and confronted him. British Transport Police officers arrived at the scene and arrested Smith.

PC Thompson added: “Tackling all forms of unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway is a priority for us. No one should ever have to experience unwanted sexual behaviour while travelling on the rail network. We take every report seriously and provide full support to the victims and will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.

"Unwanted sexual behaviour is anything which makes you feel uncomfortable, whether it involves rubbing, groping, masturbation, leering, sexual comments or indecent acts. We would encourage anyone who thinks they have been a victim to come forward. You can call us on 0800 40 50 40 or text us on 61016 to report an incident.”