years for middle-aged man for sexual assault
A middle-aged fashion consultant
who molested a teenager on several occasions and sexually assaulted
her in his car was jailed for five years on Friday.
Mark Sunshine, a 50-year-old from
Borehamwood, groped the girl on several occasions when he gave her
driving lessons and carried out a sex assault on her after he
picked her up in a drunken state from a party.
Prosecutor Barnaby Shaw told St
Albans crown court that the victim is now aged 21 and made a
complaint to the police about the man's behaviour last year.
She said Mr Sunshine had engaged in
telephone banter with her and on one occasion sent her an image of
a penis over the phone. He was to tell the police it was not his
and was a picture he found on Google.
Sunshine said he had sent her the
image after he had received a photo of her wearing a bra. Among
sexualised conversations it was alleged that he asked her how she
would feel if he booked a hotel bedroom for them.
The woman said Sunshine would put
his hand on her leg if his wife Samantha was not around and would
slap her on the bottom.
Mr Shaw told the jury of 6 women
and 6 men that he offered to give the teenager driving lessons.
"When she was in the car he would put his hand down her top and
grope her breasts while she was trying to drive," he said.
She got drunk at a friend's
birthday party and he was asked to take her home. On the way it is
alleged he stopped and put his hand up her dress, with the teenager
being so drunk she couldn't stop him.
At a trial last month Sunshine, of
Furzehill Road, Borehamwood, denied two sample charges of sexual
assault between October 2009 and October 2010. He also pleaded not
guilty to assault by penetration between 31 January 2011 and 1
March 2011. He was convicted by the jury of all charges after 5
hours and 33 minutes of deliberations. He was remanded in custody
to Bedford jail and appeared for sentence today/Friday.
He said he had never sexually
assaulted the teenager and denied that there had been any
consensual relationship. He said he had given her driving lessons,
but he had never fondled her breasts. After the party he said he
had not touched her but that she was drunk and tried to put her
hand between his legs. He said he was not attracted to her.
Dee Connolly, defending, said
Sunshine still did not accept the offences. She said he was a
"good, hard-working family man" who was supported in court by his
wife and other members of his family.
"The stigma of this conviction will
shape his future. He has lost his job. He is a broken man and his
reputation is ruined. He is on the segregation wing at Bedford
prison and is finding it difficult and has been placed on
anti-depressants," she said.
Judge Stephen Warner told him:
"When she complained, you belittled her and persisted. You showed a
total disregard for her wishes and intentions. "
He told Sunshine: "You showed a
lack of insight and remorse and you see yourself as the
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