Face lick thug on sex register

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A MAN has been put on the Sex Offenders’ Register after licking a vulnerable woman’s face on a lads’ night out.

Dean Smart was in Durham’s Market Place when he and up to nine others crowded round the woman.

Durham Crown Court was told how he said “Yeah, she’s mine” while another grabbed her arm and Smart tried to kiss her.

He licked the right side of her face after she pulled away.

Tom Mitchell, prosecuting, said: “She shouted at the men to get off her and said the defendant appeared drunk.”

He added some of the group drifted away and the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, continued to tell them to get off.

He said: “She began to feel angry and she eventually began to cry.

“She estimates the incident lasted five minutes. Police were quickly involved and she was assisted by others, witnesses, who had seen what had happened.”

Smart, 22, of Foxlair Close, Hall Farm, Sunderland, was traced through a DNA sample from the woman’s cheek and pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Mr Mitchell said the victim, who already suffered from a mental health condition, had been affected by the incident, on October 30, 2010.

She has panic attacks and is reduced to tears at the thought of what happened.

The court heard he has previous convictions dating back to 2004 and included common assault, where he punched a woman in a street disturbance in Sunderland, for possession of cannabis resin and for racially aggravated intimidation, harassment, alarm or distress.

Jim Devlin, mitigating, said: “He accepts it was an incident of loutishness and accepts the event was had an unpleasant consequence for the victim.”

He said there had not been a sexual motivation for his actions.

Judge Christopher Prince told the court his behaviour had a great impact on his victim’s life.

He ordered Smart, a machine operator for 3T in Seaham, to pay £1,200 in costs and compensation of £1,000 to the woman, detailing how she could pass the money on to charity if she felt uncomfortable with accepting her attacker’s cash.

He described Smart’s behaviour as “deeply perturbing” and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years and serve a 6pm to 6am curfew from Friday to Sunday for six months, excluding a list of agreed Friday nights when he has to work.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham