Pervert sex attacker targeted girl on train

A sex offender stroked the thigh of a 16-year-old girl while on a train and asked if she was "game".

Nathan Russell, 28, waited for his friend to leave the train before sitting diagonally across from the girl and telling her he had been to prison and that he was due to go back.

He then asked her if she was "game" and then sexually assaulted her.

Russell, of no fixed abode, admitted sexual assault at Liverpool Crown Court today (July 20) along with an assault occasioning actual bodily harm and failing to comply with requirements of the sex offenders register.

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Mark Phillips, prosecuting, told the court that the 28-year-old has 40 convictions for 59 offences including battery, sexual assault by touching and drunk and disorderly.

In March this year, Russell got on at Leasowe train station with a friend, but after a couple of stops his friend got off the train.

Russell then went and sat diagonally across from a 16-year-old girl and asked her where she was going, suggesting that he would leave the train with her.

Mr Phillips said: "He told her who he was and that he had been in prison and was going back to prison shortly."

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Russell asked the girl to go with him while touching and stroking her leg and thigh for approximately 10 minutes.

He then stated "you're game" to the girl, implying "like doing sex and stuff" before attempting to kiss the girl, which she moved away from.

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He told the 28-year-old she didn't want to do anything to which he replied "he knew she did".

Russell then used his hand to sexually touch the girl over her clothes and she moved it away.

The court heard he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to the offences and said "it's disgusting" when confronted about his own behaviour.

In a victim impact statement read by Mr Phillips, the girl explained that she had previously been very sociable and outgoing but that since the incident she has had "a great deal of trouble sleeping" and is scared of another assault taking place.

Before the incident the court heard the 16-year-old was "always out" as she was very active but now she doesn't leave the house on her own.

The girl is also struggling with mental health issues and has begun therapy having been told she is suffering from PTSD.

In a previous incident Russell had touched a 17-year-old girl at a train station, which resulted in a conviction and him signing the sex offenders register for seven years, which he was also charged for breaching today.

Russell failed to report to a police station for 19 days after telling officers he was of no fixed abode, which meant he should have gone to a police station every week.

When he committed the sexual assault on the 16-year-old Russell was also on police bail for a previous offence which had taken place on January 20 this year.

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He was also sentenced for this offence, which saw him punching and kicking a man he knew in Birkenhead after he refused to give him alcohol or money.

Despite Martin Conway asking Russell to stop, he refused to do so, continuing to kick and punch his victim as he lay on the floor.

Bernice Campbell, defending, explained that Russell had pleaded guilty to all offences at the first opportunity and asked Judge David Swinnerton to consider totality when sentencing.

Ms Campbell told the court that Russell has an alcohol problem and was drunk on all three matters.

She also said Russell is remorseful for his actions and "very sorry".

Ms Campbell explained that while he has no diagnosed problems he is somebody who has difficulties and is vulnerable. The court heard his mother died in 2017 and since then he has been living "sofa to sofa".

She noted that during the sexual assault he asked if the girl was "game" and doesn't continue with it once she moves his hand away.

Judge Swinnerton ordered Russell to serve 28 months in prison, half of which will be served on licence, and to comply with a Sexual Harm and Prevention Order.

He must also sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.