A man has been jailed after sexually assaulting a woman on a train at Crystal Palace, then later claiming she provoked it herself “because her legs were open”.

Remorseless sex offender Leon Pawlica carried out the attack on May 22 after drinking half a litre of vodka and boarding a morning rush hour train at London Victoria, bound for West Croydon.

The 59-year-old homeless man tried to start a conversation with his victim, causing her to move away and Pawlica to start trying to talk to a different woman.

When the train arrived at Crystal Palace, the victim got up to leave and Pawlica lifted her skirt and carried out the attack.

She challenged him and he followed her off the train and through the station.

The victim asked station staff for help who called the police, leading to his arrest following a search of the nearby area.

In his police interview, Pawlica firstly claimed he was too drunk to remember the incident before accusing the victim of “sexually provoking it herself…because her legs were open.”

A judge sentenced him to 20 weeks in prison on 25 September.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for seven years, pay £775 in CPS costs, and handed a seven year Sexual Harm Prevention Order which prevents him from carrying opened alcohol and sitting next to or opposite a lone female on public transport.

Detective Sergeant Dan Holmes of BTP’s Sexual Offences Unit said: “Thankfully we police a CCTV rich environment and this blatant sexual assault was captured entirely on camera.

“Pawlica knew he had no defence but his attempt to blame the completely innocent victim, who was left understandably distressed by the incident, is utterly reprehensible.

“It’s no surprise the court saw straight through this and I am pleased to see Pawlica handed a custodial sentence.

“I hope it serves as a strong reminder that sexual offenders absolutely won’t be tolerated on the railway.”