A man faces jail after groping a woman’s breasts twice while drunk.
Mark Johnson had denied sexual assault, claiming that he was only trying to comfort the woman as she appeared upset.
However, Kirklees magistrates found the Milnsbridge man guilty following a trial held in his absence when he turned up at the court drunk and had to be excluded by security staff.
The 57-year-old now faces sentencing by a crown court judge after magistrates deemed their sentencing powers inadequate.
The incident happened at Johnson’s home in Glastonbury Drive on January 18 while the woman was visiting him.
He was heavily in drink and made sexual advances towards her, but she refused him telling him that he smelled bad.
Johnson later groped the woman’s breasts, first over her clothing and then underneath and she called police.
He had pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault and his case was listed for trial at the Huddersfield court on April 24.
Johnson came to court but due to his drunken state was excluded from the building by security officers.
The trial proceeded in his absence and he was found guilty on the strength of his victim’s evidence.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and he appeared at the court today for a sentencing hearing.
However, his solicitor Carl Kingsley acknowledged: “The sentencing starting point is 12 months, which is in excess of this court’s sentencing powers.”
Magistrates committed Johnson, who has 14 offences to his name, for sentencing to Leeds Crown Court.
This will take place on May 30 and a full pre-sentence report was ordered ahead of this hearing.
In the meantime Johnson is banned from contacting his victim.