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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Carlisle man banned from approaching lone women for 10 years

A man who made sexually offensive remarks to two women at a bus stop has been banned from approaching any lone women on the street for 10 years.

The unusual order was passed on 56-year-old David Delahunty at Carlisle Crown Court as part of his punishment for kissing a woman on the cheek after making insulting sexual suggestions to her at a bus stop.

Judge Paul Batty QC described the incident as “an absolutely disgraceful episode”.

Now Delahunty, of Grasmere Street, Currock, Carlisle, could be arrested even if he merely says hello in any public place to any woman he does not know.

The court order – imposed after Delahunty pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault – bans him for the next 10 years from approaching or speaking to “any lone female not known to him in a public place” except in an emergency.

Prosecutor Becky McGregor told the court the woman, who was in her 20s, was waiting for a bus in West Tower Street on the afternoon of Monday November 26 last year when Delahunty came up and told her she was “a bonny lass”. He asked her where she came from and, when she said Durham, he told her that’s where he had just come from too – claiming, falsely, that he had just been released from Durham Prison where he had been serving a sentence for rape.

He then made a series of offensive lewd comments, which the woman escaped only by getting on a bus. But as she climbed aboard, the court heard, he kissed her on the cheek, leaving her “disgusted and frightened”.

The woman was so traumatised she is now scared to go into Carlisle for fear that she might meet Delahunty again.

The court heard Delahunty had no conviction for rape, though he had been convicted of pestering young children and last year had been investigated for allegedly making sexual comments to two young girls on the street.

Mitigating, defence barrister Keith Thomas said Delahunty “had been drinking a lot”.

He said his client was so drunk he had initially denied the woman’s allegations.

He accepted what he had done only when his own daughter told him that no woman would make up such a story.

Mr Thomas said Delahunty had grown up in a big family in Liverpool where such “banter” was commonplace.

“But he realises that can’t happen here,” he added. “He realises this sort of inappropriate familiarity has to cease and that he should not talk to any woman he does not know.”

Judge Batty imposed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered him to do 120 hours unpaid community work and put him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Delahunty was also put under probation supervision for a year and will be made to undergo treatment for his binge drinking.

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