'Sneaky' sex attacker assaulted woman who was working alone in Leicester fast-food shop
A man has been convicted of sexually assaulting a woman who was working alone in a fast-food shop.
Maciej Skowronski (22) was jailed for 14 months.
A jury at Leicester Crown Court convicted the unemployed packer of sexual assault by a an 11-1 majority verdict yesterday.
Skowronski, a Polish national, of Hamilton Street, Highfields, pounced on the woman at 6am on August 17 last year.
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She was preparing to open the city centre shop when he persuaded her to let him use the lavatory.
She was in the store room collecting cookies from a fridge, when she turned around to find him in the doorway.
She ordered him out of the staff-only area.
He refused to leave and they ended up grappling.
Some of the incident was captured on CCTV and played in court.
He repeatedly told her: "You're beautiful. You need me."
He tried to kiss her, but she slapped him.
He gripped both her wrists in one hand while touching her under her clothing.
Sentencing, Judge David Pugsley said it was "a sneaky" offence, assaulting a lone woman early in the morning.
He said she was "terrified."
The judge warned Skowronski: "If you commit another offence of this nature, you'll be going into custody for a very long time."
Skowronski will be on a sex offender register for 10 years.
The victim, who is in her 20s, gave evidence from behind a screen, shielding her from the public gallery and the dock, which is a normal procedure in sex cases.
She told the jury: "I was very scared.
"I was praying to God.
"I thought he was going to rape me.
"I struggled and tried to kick him.
"I was crying and shouting 'help me, help me,' even though no-one could hear."
He then left her in a distraught state, she said.
Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said that the police issued a media appeal with a CCTV picture of Skowronski, which led to him being identified.
When officers searched his girlfriend's home they found a distinctive T-shirt he wore during the assault, stuffed inside a ripped hole in a divan bed.
He handed himself in on September 19. Skowronski, denied the charge claiming nothing sexual happened.
He told the jury, through an interpreter, he was on his way home from a night out when he used the fast food shop's lavatory.
He said: "I didn't do anything wrong, apart from the fact I was drunk and I scared her."
He claimed he told her he smoked heroin and asked for money.
The defendant said he thought there may be "valuable belongings" worth taking from the store room.
"I realised she wouldn't listen to me and I couldn't communicate with her so I ran off," he said.
On realising the police were looking for him, and seeing the press reports with his photo, he handed himself into the police station.