A MAN who sexually assaulted an autistic young woman at a bus stop has been jailed.

Andrew Fearnley-Hill touched the 19-year-old’s breast as she waited for a bus in Stockton Heath in 2015.

On Friday, May 12, the 46-year-old was jailed for 16 months at Chester Crown Court after admitting sexually assaulting her.

The victim was waiting at a bus stop on London Road at around 1pm on Sunday, October 25 2015, when she was approached by Fearnley-Hill.

He attempted to make conversation with her and began to touch her on the arm, leading to the victim turning away from him as she felt uncomfortable.

Following an exchange with another man Fearnley-Hill suddenly became angry, flicking cigarette ash at her before touching the young woman on the stomach and right breast.

Fearnley-Hill, of Ackers Road in Stockton Heath, then accused her of stealing his mobile phone and tried to grab her bag.

The defendant, who was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, stated he was going to perform a citizen’s arrest on his victim – he then grabbed her arms and pulled her to the ground.

Three women then intervened and put the young woman on a bus, with one of the Good Samaritans then reporting the incident to the police.

Arrested a week later, Fearnley-Hill claimed he was patting the victim down as he searched for his mobile phone and denied that the touching was sexual.

He initially pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and assault but later admitted the offences.

A personal statement from the victim that was read out in court stated that the incident had ‘made her stomach churn’ and described the ‘significant’ effect it had had on her.

The court heard that she has ‘lost all confidence’ and been left ‘extremely anxious’, while she struggles to sleep and suffers from nightmares and panic attacks.

She has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia and an eating disorder.

Fearnley-Hill, who was described in court as ‘troubled, lonely and isolated’, has numerous previous convictions for outraging public decency and exposure, including one for showing his genitals to a group of 15-year-old girls in a park in 2006.

His honour judge Simon Berkson jailed Fearnley-Hill for 16 months, also subjecting him to a sexual harm prevention order, restraining order and notification requirement for a period of 10 years.

Sentencing, judge Berkson said: “The incident has had a profound effect on your victim’s health and wellbeing.

“I take into account the vulnerability of your victim at the time and the sustained nature of the incident, which was committed in broad daylight in a public place.

“You clearly have your own difficulties, however this is not your first conviction for sexual offences.

“Only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate in this case.”

Fearnley-Hill will serve half of his sentence before being released on license, and was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge.

Cheshire Police have refused to release a picture of Fearnley-Hill.