A solider has become the first person to be given an alcohol abstinence tag by Carlisle Crown Court after he sexually assaulted three different women at a pub on two separate dates.
Scott James Fleming, 27, engaged his first victim in conversation before inviting her to a smoking area of the premises on August 1 last year. After she sat down, he got astride her, making attempts to kiss her and undo clothing despite her repeated attempts to stop him.
CCTV footage shown to Carlisle Crown Court revealed Fleming even initially refused to halt when other customers walked by. The women, who briefly remonstrated with him before the matter was reported, spoke of feeling frightened, struggling to sleep properly and “replaying the incident over and over”.
Just weeks later, on September 4, Fleming began dancing with two other women. He began doing “push-ups” and “crawling” on the floor, before biting one female to the stomach and leg, and the other on the breast over her clothing.
There was broken skin to the stomach injury, leaving that woman to have antibiotics and hepatitis B injections; and, said prosecutor Gerard Rogerson, suffering “the worry of not knowing whether she had contracted anything as a result of the bite”.
Fleming’s barrister, Judith McCullough, said he had gone out alone on both occasions “with the sole intention, he says, of becoming as drunk as possible”. She added: “To his victims he would wish to apologise. He is deeply ashamed of his actions.”
Fleming admitted sexually assaults on the three women all aged in their 20s.
“In August and September of last year you let yourself down, you let your regiment down but most importantly you invaded the privacy of three young women,” Judge Nicholas Barker said. “They are, in my judgement, serious matters, particularly the first of these which, as I say, had a degree of manhandling, subjugation, domination and duration to it.”
Fleming, previously of Meadow View, Whitehaven, was given a three-year community order. Judge Barker noted his “exemplary” good character and Army service, his guilty pleas and remorse, while also considering a reference from his platoon commander and hearing that a prison sentence could cost him his career.
Fleming must complete a sex offender course, a rehabilitation requirement and wear an alcohol abstinence tag for 90 days. He must also pay each of his victims £400 compensation and sign the sex offenders’ register for five years.