Catford man Ian Harrison who rubbed woman's thigh as she slept on West Wickham train pleads guilty to sexual assault

News Shopper: Ian Harrison leaves Bromley Magistrates' Court today Ian Harrison leaves Bromley Magistrates' Court today

A Catford man who rubbed a woman's thigh as she slept on a train in West Wickham has pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Ian Harrison, 53, of Jutland Road, committed the offence on the 12.13am London Charing Cross to Hayes service on Tuesday April 29.

The 23-year-old woman boarded the train after having drinks with some friends.

Toyin Akinyemi, prosecuting, told Bromley Magistrates' Court: "She sat next to the window and she fell asleep.

"Just before her stop she woke up to find the defendant sitting really close to her.

"She described him as being 'in her face'. He leaned over her.

"His hand was on the inside of her leg, moving up her leg.

"When she woke up she was dazed and shocked as to what was going on.

"She pushed him away and shouted at him to get off. He walked away down the aisle."

Mrs Akinyemi added the whole incident was captured on CCTV.

She said: "CCTV showed the victim getting on the train. Mr Harrison sat next to her.

"After 20 minutes the carriage was empty.

"He kissed her head and pulled her towards him. CCTV showed him placing his hands on her clothing.

"She had been drinking and was oblivious to what was happening to her."

In his defence, Harrison, who was returning home after a day at the Windsor races, claimed he thought the woman was ill, and became concerned for her.

However, he admitted he had "fleeting sexual thoughts" when he was rubbing her thigh.

Mrs Akinyemi said: "Mr Harrison said he nudged the woman to see if she was OK, and she leaned into him.

"He said he was concerned about the female, that all he was trying to do was help."

Following the incident, both Harrison and the woman got off the train at West Wickham station.

Harrison was arrested on May 23 after a police appeal.

He will be sentenced on June 24 and remains on conditional bail - the condition being he is not allowed on the railway network between 9pm and 5am.

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