Ryhope man sexually assaulted Seaham Schoolgirl while delivering charity bags

A Lithuanian born Ryhope resident is set to be sentenced after sexually assaulting a schoolgirl under 16 while delivering charity bags in Seaham.

Audrius Miliauskas was out delivering charity bags when he approached the teenage girl and “clenched her bottom” before whispering “you’re beautiful”.

The 46-year-old – who was said to be “heavily intoxicated” – walked off but was later confronted by a member of the public before being arrested.

Miliauskas, of Snowdon Terrace, Ryhope, Sunderland, appeared at Durham Crown Court on Wednesday January 18 to be sentenced for sexual assault. He required an interpreter throughout proceedings.

The court heard that the girl, who was under 16 and was wearing her school uniform at the time, was standing on a street in Seaham waiting for her friend on July 7 last year.

Matthew Hopkins, prosecuting, said: “The defendant walked past and said good morning. He was putting charity bags through doors at the time.

“After that, he approached her again and put his hand on her skirt, clenching her bottom for around five seconds. As he did this, he whispered something like ‘you’re very pretty’ or ‘you’re beautiful’. The defendant then walked away.”

Mr Hopkins said the girl initially “laughed nervously” but then began to cry and feared Miliauskas would return. He said: “Later she was found sobbing by a witness who then tracked down the defendant. The witness confronted him and he said ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’ The witness noted that he smelled of alcohol at the time.”

When Miliauskas was arrested, he accepted touching the girl, but only on her thigh and denied being drunk or saying anything to her. In a victim statement, the girl said she now feels nervous and anxious walking past men and no longer goes to her friend’s home.

Miliauskas had one previous conviction, which was for theft in 2011 and was cautioned in 2009 for touching the breasts of an adult woman. Miliauskas appeared at the hearing without representation but a probation report said he could be dealt with in the community.

Judge Jo Kidd, sentencing Miliauskas, said she did not believe he specifically targeted a child and said he was “heavily intoxicated, which disinhibited you”. Miliauskas was given eight months prison, suspended for 18 months and must complete eight rehabilitation activity days. He was put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.