Man sexually assaulted girl on train from Oxford after she refused to give him her number

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William Roberts claimed that he was only engaging in a ‘nice’ conversation with the victim. Credit: BTP

A man has been jailed after he sexually assaulted a teenage girl on a train after she refused to give him her number.

William Roberts, 28, was on a train from Oxford to Prince Risborough in December 2020 when he went up to the girl and repeatedly asked for her phone number.

She refused to give it to him, insisting that she isn’t interested and is only 16 years old.

Roberts sat down next to the victim and continued to persist despite the victim stating that she is uncomfortable with his behaviour. He then sexually assaulted her.

He got up and walked down the carriage, before returning to her seat and putting his arms out as if to block her from leaving. He attempted to sexually assault her again before the girl pushed him away and escaped.

Roberts was arrested at his home on 6 January 2020, and in interview with the British Transport Police, claimed that he was only engaging in a ‘nice’ conversation with the victim.

The 28-year-old from Thornton Heath, was found guilty of one count of sexual assault and one count of failing to surrender to police bail.

He was sentenced to a total of 24 months in prison and ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for 10 years at Reading Crown Court on Monday 20 June.

BTP Detective Constable James Egley said: “It’s clear from Roberts’ persistent actions that he is a danger to women and girls, and I’m pleased to see him off the network and behind bars.

“This was a truly distressing incident for the victim who has shown immense bravery coming forward and giving an account of what happened to her.

“No one should be made to feel threatened whilst travelling on the network and we are actively taking serious action against sexual offenders.

Anyone who experiences or witnesses sexual harassment or a sexual offence on the railway is urged to report it to BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.