Man admits common assault after pinching PCSO's bottom

A Merseyside man who pinched the bottom of a female police community support officer (PCSO) has admitted common assault.

Bradley Richards, 27, of Round Hey, Stockbridge Village, was originally charged with sexual assault and faced signing the sex offenders register.

But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge at Liverpool Crown Court.

The CPS said the charge had been agreed after speaking to the victim.

Richards had denied one count of sexual touching at an earlier hearing.

'Extremely upset'

The court heard he approached the officer and asked: "Can I have your number?", before squeezing her buttock with his hand.

Judge David Aubrey QC questioned why the CPS had not agreed to the less serious charge earlier in the legal proceedings.

Claire Jones of the CPS said that the complainant and her "superiors" had not been as "co-operative" as they were now being, and that the victim's view had been "rather staunch" in previous discussions about changing the charge.

She said she had been able to speak to the PCSO and make her realise the "global perception".

Miss Jones said: "The victim has been consulted and she was extremely upset when I spoke to her throughout the morning.

"She is still affected by what occurred, even though to some it may be at the lower end of the scale."

Richards, who was granted bail, will be sentenced on 9 December.

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