A sacked private care home manager has been jailed for 12 months for secretly groping two young women in a seven-month campaign as a sex pest.
Robert Mills. 53, loved to press himself against women, massage their shoulders and unzip tunics. When one complained she was being seriously assaulted he laughed and sang “the neck bone is connected to the back bone”. Both women were frozen with fear after being repeatedly groped. Mills refused to take no for an answer. He repeated his actions as if nothing had happened.
Disgraced Mills, 53, of Cardigan Road, Bridlington, appeared shame-faced at Hull Crown Court for sentence on Monday, May 16 after pleading guilty to six charges of indecent assault against two women.
Crown barrister Craig Lowe said Mills, known as “Bob”, befriended his first victim by being helpful. He said the first victim initially shrugged him off because she did not want to offend him.
He walked up behind her and pressed his body against hers before assaulting her with his hands and talking as if nothing happened. Mr Lowe said on a second occasion Mills unzipped a tunic. “She said she was frozen in fear,” said Mr Lowe. The defendant “acted as cool as you like.”
His second victim was cornered and he indecently assaulted her as she said: “No Bob.” He had a smile on his face. The same night he repeated the assault, singing “the neck bone is connected to the backbone.”
“He was clearly enjoying it,” said Mr Lowe.
In a victim impact statement one of the women said: “This has totally knocked my confidence. I questioned whether I had caused this. It stopped me putting on makeup and doing my hair. I tried to put it out of my mind, but found it difficult. It has affected my confidence dealing with men. I could not speak to men in the street. I thought if I spoke then they would have some other motive.”
Defence barrister Bernard Gateshill said Mills had a partner who would lose her accommodation if he was jailed. “One can see over a relatively short period time, what was relative minor touching and banter progressed into what in any view was serious sex assault – there is no doubt,” said Mr Gateshill.
“He is 53 and of previous good character and no prospect of doing anything like this again. It is clear to him that this sort of behaviour can lead to custodial sentences.”
Sentencing, David Tremberg said: “You took and created opportunities to make sexual advances to younger women.
“Your attention was unwanted. You caused your victims great emotional distress. You demonstrated no insight into how your victims felt and only concern for your own gratification.
“There may be a time, decades ago, that some sections of society viewed this as an occupational hazard for women. That time has long since passed and the courts must send out a clear message women are entitled to the full protection of the criminal law.”
“Only an immediate custody can be justified.”
He jailed Mills for 12 months and ordered he must sign on the National Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.