A Lincoln man who sexually assaulted a university student after following her out of a supermarket was today jailed for two and half years.
Nigel Leigh, 38, put his hand between the woman’s legs after pursuing her from Morrisons on Tritton Road.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Leigh identified his victim in the supermarket and then followed her from the store as she walked back to her university accommodation.
The court was told Leigh approached the woman from behind as she entered an alleyway without CCTV and put his hands between her legs over her clothing.
Leigh was seen running away from the scene on CCTV and identified after his image was circulated.
He denied the offence in interview after he was arrested by police but was convicted of a single charge of sexual assault after a trial at Lincoln Crown Court.
Mark Watson, mitigating, said that although it was clear from CCTV that Leigh had followed the woman in to Morrisons there was not significant planning.
Mr Watson said: “This was on any view short lived and was now a long time ago, about three years ago.
“There has been no further offending in the last three years and his family life has settled down.”
Passing sentence Judge Andrew Easteal told Leigh there had been a significant degree of planning and he was satisfied that he chose the place where he attacked his victim because there was no CCTV at that spot.
“You were careful not to alarm her or to make her believe that you posed a threat,” Judge Easteal said.
“You attacked her in broad daylight as she did no more than go to the supermarket.
“She was a student in her early 20s.”
The court heard Leigh had a number of previous sexual convictions including a nine year sentence for rape in 2005.
Judge Easteal told Leigh he appeared to have a predisposition for offending against students and young women.
Leigh, of Raglan House, Ruston Way, Lincoln, denied a single charge of sexual assault on June 30 2015.
He was jailed for two and half years and must serve another two and half years on extended licence after the judge concluded he did pose a danger to the public.