Grandfather wins appeal after touched breast 'trying to read badge'
Short-sighted ‘Mr Magoo’ grandfather, 76, wins appeal against sex assault conviction after he touched nurse’s breast ‘while trying to read her name badge’
- Andrew Sington’s conviction of sexual assault quashed at Liverpool Crown Court
- 76-year-old widower admitted touching the female nurse’s fleece but not breast
- Mr Sington maintained he just reached over and took hold of jacket to read name
A short-sighted grandfather who touched a nurse’s breast ‘while trying to read the name badge’ has won his appeal against conviction.
Retired business consultant Andrew Sington had been found guilty of sexual assault by magistrates but that conviction was today quashed at Liverpool Crown Court.
The 76-year-old widower, who was compared to the animated cartoon character Mr Magoo by his lawyer at the trial in November, admitted touching the female nurse’s fleece and agreed that it was ‘socially inappropriate’.
He told the judge, who sat with two magistrates, that ‘in my mind I did not touch her breast’.
At the time of the incident on November 13, 2021 at Rowan View medium secure mental unit on Merseyside, Sington, who was not wearing his spectacles, said to the nurse: ‘I am sorry I didn’t mean to touch your boob, I was just checking your name.’
76-year-old widower Andrew Sington admitted touching the female nurse’s fleece and agreed that it was ‘socially inappropriate’
Mr Sington was compared to the animated cartoon character Mr Magoo by his lawyer at the trial in November
He had been at the unit with his partner to visit a patient and the nurse, who is in her 40s, was left in a state of ‘shock and disbelief’ and later reported the incident to senior colleagues.
She told the court that when introduced, Sington patted her on the arm, which she dismissed as some people are quite tactile.
She was wearing a fleece with the hospital emblem on one side and her name embroidered on the other side and later in the visit, while standing right in front of her, he reached across with the flat of his left hand and touched her left breast over her clothing.
Her colleague immediately intervened by putting his arm in front of her and told how there had then been an awkward atmosphere.
He pointed out to Sington that they had already been introduced and there was no need to touch.
She told the court in November: ‘He touched it enough for me to feel it. It was a pull at the fleece as if trying to pull the fleece towards him but his hand was on my breast.
‘I just froze, I was shocked. It was the last thing I expected to happen.
‘I remember walking away back to the ward and thinking, ”Did that really just happen? Have I really just been touched?” It took me a few minutes to process.’
He had been at the unit with his partner to visit a patient and the nurse, who is in her 40s, was left in a state of ‘shock and disbelief’ and later reported the incident to senior colleagues
Sington maintained that he had just reached over and took hold of her jacket to read her name – but the court heard that the name was on the other side.
He also told the judge that he suffers from short-term memory loss and was not good with names and had forgotten her name after being introduced and was too embarrassed to ask.
READ MORE: Short-sighted grandfather, 76, dubbed ‘Mr Magoo’ by his own lawyer must sign sex offender’s register after touching a nurse’s breast and claiming he was ‘trying to read her name badge’
Questioned by Joanne Maxwell, prosecuting, if he thought it had been appropriate to use the word ‘boob’ he said it was ‘common parlance on the BBC’ but did not think it was appropriate.
Judge Brian Cummings KC told Sington, who lives in Hale near Altrincham, Greater Machester, said that the complainant had been an ‘impressive’ witness and he and his two colleagues were sure that her evidence that his hand came into contact with her breast was right.
But referring to whether the touching was intentional he said, ‘We have anxiously considered the evidence on that point and in the end we are not sure it was intentional and we allow the appeal.’
He pointed out that was no reflection on the complainant or witness.
Numerous testimonials had been produced today on behalf of Sington, who was described by his lawyer Peter Wright, KC as a member of his local residents’ committee and of previous good character.
He has also done charitable work throughout his adult life.
Magistrates had imposed a community order with conditions which has now been overturned.
His KC applied for defence costs from central funds but Judge Cummings pointed out Sington had bought the case upon himself to some extent and only allowed half the costs.
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