Man found guilty of harassment
- Credit: Archant
A MAN from Weston was spared jail after sexually assaulting and stalking a woman and harassing another.
Ralph Hailstone, aged 66 and of Clarence Road South, was given a suspended sentence at North Somerset Courthouse for sexually assaulting a shop worker and stalking her between July and August this year.
On November 27, he was also found guilty and given a suspended sentence for harassing a café worker from June to October this year.
He was given a 16-week suspended sentence in total, meaning he will be sent to jail for that time if he commits another crime.
The court heard how he visited a Weston shop in July where he met with one of the victims.
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Ian Jackson, prosecuting, said Hailstone touched her arm and made her feel uncomfortable.
Hailstone returned on another occasion, asking for her whereabouts, before visiting for a third time.
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Mr Jackson said: “When he left, he kissed her cheek, leaving dribble on her cheek.”
Hailstone pleaded not guilty to harassing a café worker.
The court heard how he made phone calls to her, waited outside the café and stared in for more than 30 minutes and sent bottles of wine to her place of work.
Mr Jackson said: “This behaviour was unwanted and caused distress to the recipient of it.”
Hailstone had been given a formal police warning for harassment in 2013, although he refused to sign it.
Hailstone defended himself in court, and said: “The evidence which has been given by the prosecution is an absolute travesty of justice.
“It’s, in essence, lies drawing upon certain things that did happen.”
He said in the absence of CCTV evidence to show he was not staring into the café, the case was unproven.
He was ordered to pay £250 in compensation to each victim, court costs of £1,240 and an £80 victim surcharge.
He was given two restraining orders so he cannot contact the women or visit their places of work.