Debt collector was groped by customer

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A DEBT collector was left “shocked and upset” when she was sexually assaulted by a 61-year-old customer at his South Yorkshire home, a court heard.

George Elliott, of Saville Road, Wath-upon-Dearne, groped the credit agency worker when she visited his house to collect money.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Elliott, a married man, grabbed the woman’s arms and shoulders before touching her inappropriately, leaving her feeling “violated”.

Bev Tait, prosecuting, said the victim, in her 30s, collected money from Elliott every Tuesday afternoon from December 2009.

Ms Tait said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, initially visited Saville Road when Elliott’s wife was at home, and noticed his behaviour change after around a month.

“The defendant would try to kiss her on the cheek until it became gradually worse,” she said. “He began touching her and squeezing her bottom. She describes freezing up but not saying anything to him.

“She did report it to her managers - they decided they would continue to collect from his home, as long as someone was present.

“She just tried to laugh it off.”

Ms Tait said the woman went to Elliott’s house in November last year, he answered and she went into his kitchen to collect the debt.

She said Elliott - alone in the house - “grabbed and hugged her and tried to kiss her”.

He then sexually assaulted her leaving her feeling ‘scared and shocked’.

The woman immediately told her managers, who called at Elliott’s home.

“He initially denied the assault, but later apologised.”

“She said she never led the defendant on and felt violated by his actions. He admitted he had gone too far.”

When arrested he told officers: “I did it but I didn’t mean to do it.”

“He said he liked her and wouldn’t hurt her for the world, and should have listened to his wife regarding this sort of thing,” Ms Tait added.

Elliott admitted sexual assault.

Judge Recorder David Hatton QC said he had previous similar convictions.

“It would probably benefit you and, hopefully, society more if I don’t send you to prison but make a different sort of order.”

Elliott was given a three year supervision order and told to complete a sex offender course.