A MAN who put his hand down the back of a stranger's jeans laughed at her after the assault and said it was 'a joke'.

Samuel Grundy of Lodge Lane, Bewsey, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday.

The court was told how on May 26 at around 2.30am, a woman was sat on a picnic bench with her husband at Friars Court pub in the town centre.

Ian Criddle, prosecuting, said: "The woman's husband left to go to the bar for more drinks and Grundy, who did not know the woman, approached her from behind.

"He placed his hand down the back of her trousers and underneath her underwear."

Grundy, 22, then removed his hand and laughed at the victim and said it was 'a joke' but she did not find it funny and became angry.

The defendant then ran away laughing before the victim told security at the pub.

READ > Iranian hackers target Warrington council's website

In a police interview he said his actions were not sexually motivated but just a prank as he was 'trying to touch her coccyx'.

In a victim statement, the woman said she felt 'degraded and humiliated' and the fact she was approached from behind while alone has left her feeling 'anxious and vulnerable in busy places'.

Grundy, who works on a building site, said it was the sort of behaviour he and his colleagues do for a 'joke'.

Sarah Griffin, defending, said: "This was a very nasty offence and it is clear it has had a terrible impact upon the complainant.

"It was illegal and inappropriate behaviour and a foolish prank.

"There is clear remorse and Grundy has recognised he has had demons with alcohol and drugs and has referred himself to Pathways.

"He doesn't go out anymore and is focussing more on his job and his relationship.

"This is a man who behaved with immaturity and out of character."

The court was told Grundy has four previous convictions for nine offences.

Judge Gary Woodhall said: "This woman was enjoying a night out with her husband, you left her feeling embarrassed and degraded.

"The fact remains you had no right to touch that woman and it is clear you have ongoing issues with alcohol and drugs.

"Having read letters from your aunt and girlfriend I understand you have been deeply affected by your past and you are trying to move forward."

Judge Gary Woodhall told Grundy to 'grow up' and ordered him to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and complete 35 days of a rehabilitation activity.

Grundy was also handed a restraining order which prevents him from entering Friars Court for five years.