Washington counsellor sexually assaulted woman

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A COUNSELLOR employed to help vulnerable women in their homes sexually assaulted one of them.

Ronald Crangle encouraged the woman to drink, despite knowing she had a drink problem, and then groped and kissed her.

Durham Crown Court heard Crangle left the house without saying a word, then telephoned his employers Stonham Housing to say he was sick and would not be returning.

He no longer works for Stonham, which specialises in providing housing and support services to vulnerable people.

Prosecutor Richard Bennett told the jury: “You may feel Mr Crangle groomed his victim in that he first encouraged her partner to go out, leaving him alone with her.

“He encouraged her to drink and engage in sexualised talk.”

The jury heard four days of evidence from two alleged victims.

Proceedings were interrupted when the partner of one of the victims shouted “nonce” at Crangle, before leaving the witness box and refusing to give any more evidence.

Crangle, 64, of Kielder, Oxclose, Washington, denied four charges of sexual assault between October, 2008 and December, 2010.

The jury convicted him of one charge and found him not guilty of the other three charges.

The Recorder, Mr Adrian Waterman QC, adjourned passing sentence for the preparation of a probation report.