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Youth worker sexually assaulted woman after insulting her nose ring; Rugby player Lee Bainbridge was out with his team in a Suunderland nightclub when he 'forcibly' groped her over her clothes.

Byline: Sara Nichol

A drunk youth worker "forcibly" groped a woman after insulting her nose ring in aSunderland nightclub.

Rugby player Lee Bainbridge was out with his teammates in Glitter Ball when he sexually assaulted the victim, who he didn't know, on two occasions on the dance floor.

A court was told that the 28-year-old, who has HND qualifications and works with children who have challenging behaviour, had initially tried to flirt with the woman but "became abusive" when he spotted she had a nose ring.

The female told him to go away but, seconds later, he grabbed her bottom "with force", prosecutors said.

Bainbridge was told by the shocked victim to "f**k off" and she pushed him away but he returned and grabbed her vagina over her clothing, the court was told.

Now, the youth worker, of Crowtrees Lane, Bowburn, in CountyDurham, faces losing his job after he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Holly Common, prosecuting, said Bainbridge was in Glitter Ball, in Sunderland City Centre, in the early hours of the morning on May 13 this year.

Having initially tried to flirt with the victim on the dance floor, he was told to go away when he became abusive about her nose ring.

The prosecutor added: "The defendant grabbed her bottom with a lot of force. [The victim] is usually a laid-back person but the force made her react angrily.

"She turned around and told him to f**k off and pushed his hand away.

"Thirty seconds later, the defendant suddenly, with his right hand, reached for her vagina and grabbed it over her clothing.

"It was not with as much force as previously but he held it there for about two seconds until he pulled away and walked off."

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The woman reported Bainbridge to staff and he was later interviewed by police but claimed he had no recollection of either assaults.

In a statement, the victim said: "I have never went through something so invasive as he put me through and it shouldn't be happening in the 21st century.

"It was a shock this happened in my home town."

The court was told that Bainbridge was extremely remorseful and "horrified" about his behaviour and faces losing his job working with children.

He had been out for a drink with his County Durham rugby team to celebrate winning the league trophy and had drank far too much alcohol.

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The court also heard that Bainbridge had recently suffered from `11 following the death of his father in March this year.

Bainbridge was released on conditional bail to return to the same court on July 6 for sentence when a report will be prepared.

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Credit: Newcastle Chronicle

The Glitter Ball nightclub in Sunderland City Centre

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Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:Jun 14, 2018
Words:492
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