Sex offender groped teen just hours after leaving prison

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A WEARSIDE man got drunk and groped a girl within hours of being released from Durham Prison.

Kevin Ambler also squeezed the bottom of a woman shopper, dropped his trousers in the centre of Durham City, and stole a bag of crisps, Durham Crown Court heard.

“He was released from Durham Prison in the morning and immediately set about getting drunk,” said Chris Baker, prosecuting.

“He squeezed the bottom of a 13-year-old girl in North Road, and did the same thing to a woman in a queue at Starbucks coffee shop.

“The crisps were stolen from Starbucks before he made his way to Framwelgate Bridge and pulled his trousers down in front of an elderly couple.

“After he was arrested, he exposed himself again, this time to police in the custody suite of the police station.”

Ambler, 43, formerly of Brewer Terrace, Ryhope, admitted two charges of indecent assault and one of theft, all on November 13 last year.

The court heard he has two previous convictions for indecent assault and ‘many’ for theft by shoplifting.

Julie Clemitson, defending, said in mitigation: “Part of his problem is he left prison with nowhere to go.

“He now has a place in a bail hostel and his life has settled down to some extent.”

The Recorder, Ms Sophie Drake, sentenced Ambler to a three-year supervision order, including a condition he takes part in a sex offender treatment programme, and lives at an address approved by the Probation 

The recorder said: “Now that you have accommodation there is a chance to break the cycle of prison, drink, offending and back to prison.

“I’m not seeking to minimise the indecent assaults, but they were in a much different category to your previous convictions, which were also some time ago.

“Custody today would only protect the public for a short period of time.”

Due to his previous convictions, Ambler is already obliged to register as a sex offender for life.