Door-to-door salesman sexually assaulted Sheffield customer in her own home

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A disabled Sheffield woman was sexually assaulted in her own kitchen by a door-to-door salesman.

The 46-year-old victim, who has mobility issues and uses a Zimmer frame, was tricked into allowing the man into her home in a Sheffield suburb.

Frederick Thirkell, who has previously burgled homes by posing as an Institute for the Blind collector, showed the woman a photo ID badge.

Rebecca Young, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said Thirkell, aged 30, was invited in and soon began asking the woman if she lived alone or had a boyfriend.

He then kissed her three times on the lips and placed her hand on his groin.

Miss Young said: “Although the kisses were just pecks she was left in shock and didn’t know what to do.”

The incident only lasted a few seconds before the stunned woman gave Thirkell some money and he left.

The police were called and Thirkell, of Ovenden Green, Halifax, told officers he had behaved in a ‘flirty’ manner to get a sale from the woman.

He admitted two offences of sexual assault on May 10 last year and was given a two-year community order, 100 hours of unpaid community work and must attend a sex offenders’ programme.