A pervert who groped a dog walker at a Northumberland coastal spot has been told that his offence was so severe he was on the cusp of receiving a prison sentence.
Robert Stuart Throne, 57, from Bradford, touched and kissed a man at Warkworth beach, leaving his victim distressed and frightened, South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court heard.
Throne, of Hutton Close, Thornbury, put his hand up the dog walker’s top, fondled his bottom and told him he was good looking, during the disturbing incident on May 15.
He also asked if his victim, who can’t be named for legal reasons, had anyone special in his life and invited him back to his camper van.
Throne eventually pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a male, following a period of denial, the court was told.
Prosecutor Paul Doney said that the victim was walking his dog on the beach when he was approached by Throne.
Mr Doney said Throne made conversation with the man and then tried to hold his hand, kissed him five times, touched his bottom and pushed his hand up inside the victim’s shirt.
The court heard that the dog walker, described as a young man who had left university, sent a message to his mother while Throne was distracted and went to the police after his ordeal.
The court heard Throne was ashamed and had lost his job as a result.
District Judge Bernard Begley told him: “Your guilty plea has saved you from a custodial sentence.” Throne was given a three-year community order and is subject to a sex offender notification requirement. He was ordered to pay more than £300.