Community order for man who touched teen

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A wheelchair-bound man who sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl was found to have more than 300 indecent images of children when the police examined his computers.

Anthony Styles, 46, was sentenced to a three-year community order, which includes supervision by probation officers and he must also attend a sex offender programme.

Simon Stirling, prosecuting at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, said Styles, of Manan Close, Hemel Hempstead, took advantage of the teenager when she was upset just after Christmas in 2010.

He said: “The defendant sought to comfort her and put his right hand on her chest and under her bra.”

He also tried to kiss her and grab her.

Then on January 23 last year the same victim and her boyfriend found indecent images of children on Styles’ laptop. “She felt considerable alarm and distress and was in shock and was tearful,” said Mr Stirling.

At that point the police were called and Styles was questioned about the sex assault and having the images.

His computer and laptop were examined and the police found a total of 307 images. 306 were at Level 1, the least serious of five levels. The other was at Level 2.

Styles appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to sexual assault and possessing indecent images of children at earlier hearings.

Defence barrister Will Noble said that Styles suffered from medical problems.

Judge Stephen Warner told Styles: “You assaulted the victim when she was particularly vulnerable and distressed.

“The images may not be the most serious but as with all indecent images of children they involved the exploitation and abuse of young children for the gratification of people like you.”

Styles will have to register as a sex offender for five years and must abide by a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which includes a ban on him working with children and looking at pornography on the internet.