Traumatised victim of broad-daylight sex attack scared to walk alone
George Dowse, 29, approached the victim as she walked down the road on her way to the bank for her dad.
Teesside Crown Court heard how the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has not got over the attack.
Dowse, who was found guilty of one count of sexual assault after a trial in August, was jailed for a year.
The judge said he could not suspend sentence so as to encourage victims in other cases to come forward.
Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said Dowse “came from nowhere” before the attack.
Mr Abrahams said after walking alongside the girl for a while he grabbed her hand and forced it down his trousers and tried to kiss her.
The court heard the girl said: “I was nearly in tears when this happened.”
She later told a friend who called the police and Dowse was arrested and later charged.
In a statement by the victim read out in court, she told how she still does not feel comfortable when out alone and is always looking over her shoulder.
She stated: “When I’m walking on my own I feel uncomfortable. I’m always looking round to check I’m not being followed.
“I want to move on with my life and do normal things like pop to the shops without fear of anything else happening to me.”
The victim also told how hard it was for her to go to court to give evidence by seeing Dowse again.
“I can honestly say the whole experience was horrific,” she stated.
William Davison, mitigating, said Dowse had a “chequered” past and was regularly in trouble up until 2004.
But he added: “Since that time he has got himself a house, a relationship and a job.”
Passing sentence, Judge Howard Crowson said: “You must have been sexually attracted to her and it seems to me... you had the arrogance to think she might feel the same way because you grabbed her hand against her wishes and forced it down your trousers.
“The primary question is whether I can suspend the sentence in this type of case and I fear I cannot.”
Dowse, of Sledmere Close, Peterlee, was also slapped with a five-year restraining order and will be on the sex offenders register for 10 years.