Sex offender who ‘misread signs’ gets suspended jail sentence

News from the courts ANL-171019-151707001
News from the courts ANL-171019-151707001

A drunk man who kissed a woman without her consent after “misreading” the signs has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Darren Kitchen, 45, was found guilty by a jury of one charge of sexual assault after a trial at Lincoln Crown Court.

Kitchen, of St Michael’s Lane, Wainfleet St Mary, was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

The court heard Kitchen’s victim, who can not be named, had been seriously effected by his behaviour.

The trial judge also made an order which prevents Kitchen from having any future contact with the woman.

Passing sentence Recorder Gareth Evans QC told Kitchen: “You must never attempt to speak to her again.”

Kitchen, who had no previous convictions for sexual offences, had told police that he thought the kissing was consensual.

But after the guilty verdict Recorder Evans told Kitchen he had been drunk and misread the signs.

The judge told Kitchen: “You are 45, you do have previous convictions but nothing for offences of this kind.

“Whatever happened on that night we may never know, but it would appear that all parties accept one person were drunk.

“You were drunk at the time, you misread the signs and kissed her.

“You said you thought it was consensual, the jury thought different.”

The judge told Kitchen his behaviour did not merit an immediate jail sentence but he must register as a sex offender.