Hospital worker in assault on 10-year-old girl
A HOSPITAL worker who indecently assaulted a 10-year-old girl has received a three-year community order. Anthony Assrwatham, of Balmoral Close, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to the assault from August last year. St Albans Crown Court heard last Thursday how 4
A HOSPITAL worker who indecently assaulted a 10-year-old girl has received a three-year community order.
Anthony Assrwatham, of Balmoral Close, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to the assault from August last year.
St Albans Crown Court heard last Thursday how 43-year-old Assrwatham, originally from Sri Lanka, kissed the Hatfield girl before indecently assaulting her.
Prosecuting, Alan Landsbury said when he was interviewed by police, Assrwatham claimed the girl had led him on.
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But Judge Seddon Cripps said: "Happily by the time it came to crown court you had realised the error of your ways and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
"By doing this you saved the girl and her family further distress.
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"If this matter had been tried and you had been convicted, I would have to send you to prison, but that didn't take place so I could be lenient."
He added: "You have already been punished because you have lost your job and accommodation."
The married man was not charged costs either because he did not have any money.
In sentencing, the judge said to Assrwatham: "At some stage you began to kiss the 10-year-old on the cheek.
"You also began to give her sweets.
"This activity in the eyes of the law was probably grooming - she came to trust you."
He added: "In Sri Lankan communities it is not acceptable for males to kiss females if they are not married or close members of the family."
Assrwatham was put on the sex offenders' list and disqualified from working with children.
Defending, Tim Naik said he had no previous convictions, so was not a significant risk in the future.
A spokesman for Lister Hospital where Arrswatham worked in the kitchens said: "Mr Assrwatham was the subject of a disciplinary hearing earlier this year following which he was dismissed.