May 18 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
A sex pest who molested a commuter twice in a week has been jailed for eight months.
Eduard Stepanov, 46, groped the horrified woman’s private parts after she boarded a westbound Central Line Tube at Snaresbrook station, Station Approach, on August 23.
After spotting her again on August 30, Stepanov stalked her from one carriage to another before grabbing her bottom, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
The shocked 28-year-old, who was travelling to work in south London, was initially too afraid to make a complaint but alerted police after the second attack.
A jury found father-of-one Stepanov guilty of two counts of sexual assault after a trial.
Judge Timothy Lamb told Stepanov: “The victim’s evidence was on the occasion of the first assault that your hand went up between her legs as far as her clothed genitals.
“You dispute that your hand went that far but there was deliberate touching.
“Your account of events on August 23 was that you misinterpreted the signals the victim was giving you.
“Even if one gives you credit for the nature of your misunderstanding, the events on August 30 are beyond the comprehension of this court.
“You encountered the same victim and followed her from one carriage to another.
“She overcame her fear on the second occasion and fled from the train.”
Stepanov is also subject to a five-year restraining order banning him contacting the victim and from entering Snaresbrook Tube station.
He is only allowed to travel in the last three carriages when he uses the Underground.
Daniel Higgins, defending, said Stepanov mistakenly believed the woman had given her consent and he became “confused” after she did not immediately stop him touching her.
Stepanov, of Wellington Road, Leytonstone, denied two counts of sexual assault.
He must sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.