Manuel Augusto Da Cruz, a former maintenance worker, was sentenced in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count of sexual touching.
The court heard that the defendant walked up to the woman unzipped her jacket and placed his hand on her crotch without saying anything to her. The offence occurred in June.
Crown Advocate Carla Carvalho, prosecuting, said the woman was in complete shock and felt ashamed and disgusted, telling Da Cruz ‘No! No!’, at which point the defendant simply walked away. While the victim did not immediately report the matter, after discussing what had happened with her partner, she decided she would.
Appearing for Da Cruz, Advocate Heidi Heath, said the grandfather – who had been in Jersey less than two years – had never previously been in any trouble ‘let alone trouble of this unsavoury nature’.
Advocate Heath said Da Cruz was remorseful for his actions and ‘acutely aware of the shame and distress he had brought on his family’ as well as the effects on the victim.
His actions were ‘utterly unjustified, as well as utterly out of character’, she added, and asked the court to consider a non-custodial sentence.
On sentencing, however, Relief Magistrate David Le Cornu said the offence was a serious one which was very distressing to the victim.
He imposed a prison sentence of four months and ordered that Da Cruz’s name be added to the Sexual Offenders Register for a period of five years.