Hitchin takeaway owner jailed for nine months after sexually assaulting teens

PUBLISHED: 18:44 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:41 05 March 2020

Mario Kubara was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court today. Picture: DANNY LOO

Mario Kubara was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court today. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

A former Hitchin business owner was sentenced to nine months in prison today after sexually assaulting two teenage victims last year.

Mario Kubara, 43, from Cople in Bedfordshire, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court for two counts of sexual assault.

Kubara, who owned a fish and chip shop in Hitchin, pleaded guilty to section three (a) sexual assault against his victims - a 16-year-old girl and 15-year-old girl - earlier this year.

At sentencing, the court saw a number of CCTV images depicting Kubara hugging, embracing and then kissing the young girls on the morning of March, 17, 2019.

Kubara also asked the pair if they wanted some whiskey, and both victims reported smelling alcohol on him at the time the offences took place.

David Harounoff, speaking as the prosecution, said: "You approached them and embraced them. The victims reported these kisses as forceful. Each time this lasted a few seconds."

"Both victims also reported that you touched them in an inappropriate manner.

"The parents of both victims have made statements expressing their concern."

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Mr Harounoff then proceeded to read from the victim's statements.

The first said: "I didn't like him touching me. It made me feel sick."

The second said: "I felt violated and uncomfortable. This has never happened to me before."

Speaking on behalf of the defence, Paul Lazarus, said: "[Referencing an earlier not guilty plea] A running theme throughout this case was that Mr Kubara failed to fully understand the implications of what he did and how appalling it was.

"One of the difficulties he had was admitting this to himself and his family. He has a nice and supportive family, who could not believe he behaved this way. The family were not aware of the nature of this CCTV footage.

"I understand that by pleading guilty, Mr Kubara found this a difficult and challenging decision to make. Mr Kubara has never been in trouble before.

"These offences took place almost one year ago and he has not repeated any such behaviour."

In summarising comments, Judge Grey said: "Frankly, I find it [the CCTV footage] extremely troubling.

"I can only sentence you for what you did, not what you might have done. I am concerned about what this could have become if the girls didn't leave."

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