Ivor Taylor, 44, of Cranfield Road, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday, November 3, after pleading guilty to one count of sexual assault at an earlier hearing.
Taylor was also handed a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), ordering him:
• Not to engage in any words or behaviour of a sexual nature, likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to any person in any public place
• Not to approach or engage in conversation with any lone woman, of any age on any form of public transport (except any female transport official acting in an official capacity)
British Transport Police (BTP) said the incident took place around 7.30pm on Tuesday, April 27.
Detective Constable Nigel Craig, said: “The victim was making her way home after a day out in Hastings when Taylor boarded the train at St Leonards Warrior Square.
“After staring at her for a few minutes he then chose to sit next to her, despite there being an abundance of empty seats nearby. Taylor then tried to engage her in conversation before making advances towards her, which she declined.”
As the train approached the next station - Bexhill - Taylor tried to kiss the victim, but when his advances were again spurned he touched her shoulder before crudely implying she could have sex with him and leaving the train.
Taylor was identified and caught after investigating detectives made a public appeal for information and released closed circuit television (CCTV) images to the media (left).
Following the well-publicised appeal, numerous members of the public called police after recognising Taylor and he was subsequently arrested.
Sentencing Taylor, Judge Richard Brown said: “Firstly you will get very little credit for having pleaded guilty. You caved in at the last minute when your lies were caught out by CCTV
“Everyone, and especially the elderly and vulnerable members of the community making journeys whenever they use public transport, should be able to do so without being sexually assaulted or harassed by people like you.
“This was extremely distressing for the victim and she was scared to travel on trains.
“You have a history of sexual offending, and there will come a time, if you carry on like this, where a court like this will have to consider locking you up on a permanent basis for public protection.”
DC Craig added: “Although these types of incident are very rare, they are treated extremely seriously by investigators.
“Taylor’s advances left the victim disgusted and his actions were made all the worse by the fact of the victim’s age.
“The fact that his offence was caught on CCTV left him with no other option than to plead guilty.
“We hope the sentence handed down to him represents some form of justice for her and give her some closure.
“I would also like to pass my thanks to the members of the public who came forward and provided us with the information we needed to quickly identify Taylor and arrest him.”