A man who sexually assaulted two teenage girls then tried to deny it, claiming the victims were playing a “stupid prank”, has been sentenced.
Peter Drummond, 62, of St Neots Road, Eaton Ford, St Neots, followed the first girl into a coffee shop in High Street, Huntingdon, on October 5 last year.
The 13-year-old girl left the shop at just after 11.45am, followed by Drummond, and met her mother.
The pair walked to a nearby cashpoint but Drummond followed them.
He moved the bags he was carrying into one hand and touched the girl sexually from behind, causing her to flinch, before walking away.
The teenager’s mother called the police and nearby CCTV was discovered which showed Drummond approach the girl and her flinching.
Police began enquiries to find the then unidentified man, including a CCTV appeal. One man was identified but eliminated from enquiries.
Just three days later, on October 8 last year, a 12-year-old girl was stood with her friends in St Neots Road, Eaton Socon, at about 4.30pm.
Drummond, who was walking home from work, approached the group of children.
Instead of walking around them or asking them to move, he walked through the group of children, sexually assaulting the 12-year-old girl in the same way he had touched the earlier victim.
One of the group managed to take a photo of Drummond on his phone, and two friends confirmed they had seen what had happened.
Drummond then entered an alleyway on the same road and the teenagers called police.
Officers attended and the teenagers pointed out the alleyway Drummond had walked down.
House-to-house enquiries were carried out and the shop’s CCTV footage was obtained, which captured Drummond walking past the store.
The CCTV also revealed Drummond was the same man who had committed the sexual assault in Huntingdon.
Houses close to the alleyway in St Neots Road were revisited, including Drummond’s house.
Drummond was arrested at his work on suspicion of sexual assault on a child under 13 and sexual assault on a child aged 13 or over.
Officers matched his description with the CCTV images and he was also wearing the same clothing.
In police interview, Drummond denied touching the girl in Huntingdon and could offer no explanation as to why she was seen to visibly flinch on the CCTV.
He also denied having any sexual interest in children and denied touching the second girl in St Neots – instead claiming he had asked the group to let him pass.
When asked by officers why these allegations would have been made against him if they were untrue, Drummond replied that it could be “some sort of new school challenge”.
He stated that he wasn’t guilty of the two offences and referred to them as a “stupid prank”.
Drummond was later charged with the two sexual assaults and stood trial at Cambridge Crown Court from September 29.
Jurors took just over two-and-a-half hours to find him guilty on both counts.
Detective Constable Emily Heriot, who investigated, said: “I would like to praise the bravery and determination of both young victims in this case, as well as the teenage witnesses, which included giving evidence during the trial.
“Jurors saw through Drummond’s claim that these young girls were making the sexual assaults up and I hope this case highlights we take all reports of sexual assault or abuse incredibly seriously – no matter when they occurred.
“Reporting a sexual assault can be extremely difficult for a victim but this can be done in confidence and we have trained staff who will support people through the process.”
Drummond was sentenced at the same court on Friday November 13 where he was handed 30 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and pay a £2,000 fine.
Drummond was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register and made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for 10 years.
Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to someone, can visit the Cambridge Constabulary website: www.cambs.police.uk
There is information on the website about Clare’s Law and Sarah’s Law.
For information and advice about child abuse, including sexual abuse, visit the force’s dedicated child protection web page.