'Creepy' Northampton man, 80, who dismissed sexual assaults on young women as 'friendliness' found GUILTY of all charges
He preyed on the young women in public places with two incidents happening in 2018 and 2019
An 80-year-old man, who tried to dismiss his sexual assaults on young women as "friendliness" has been found guilty of all three charges.
Angelo De Chiara, 80, of Kettering Road Northampton, preyed on young women in public places with two incidents taking place in 2018 and 2019.
Northamptonshire Police have today (April 7) released further details from the case.
The first sexual assault in June 2018 happened when De Chiara approached an 18-year-old girl on a bus. He opted to sit down next to the girl - despite the entire bus being empty - and proceeded to touch her knee and make her feel uncomfortable.
The girl moved away from De Chiara but he responded by moving closer and, when she got off the bus, he followed her and grabbed her hand. He then asked her if she would come to his house. The girl eventually ran away from him and called the police.
The second sexual assault took place a couple of weeks later. De Chiara approached a woman, who was walking her dog near the Racecourse in Northampton and placed his hands on her shoulders, kissing her on both cheeks. He then began to walk shoulder to shoulder with her before she ran across a busy road to escape him.
The final incident in March 2019 saw De Chiara invading the personal space of a young woman in a Grosvenor Centre lift. He leant over her and began kissing her on the cheek.
De Chiara was identified through a police investigation and later charged with three counts of sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty at Northampton Crown Court and attempted to dismiss his behaviour as "friendliness." The jury convicted him of all three charges.
The Prosecution Barrister, Mr Ben Gow, told the court that De Chiara's actions were in the context of being "sexually motivated" and that he had targeted these woman because they were "young, alone and vulnerable".
The court also heard that De Chiara's actions have had a lasting impact on his three victims who "froze" during his assaults and have felt "vulnerable and scared" since.
Lead Investigator, DC Jason Gregory, said: “Firstly, I would like to commend the victims in this case for coming forward and reporting this wholly inappropriate behaviour to us so we could investigate it and bring De Chiara to justice.
“The bravery they have shown in attending court and being made to relive these experiences has been exceptional as all three are still affected by these incidents to this day.
“De Chiara falsely believed that we live in a world where the excuse of “friendliness” could be used to disguise his sexual motivations and his creepy and wholly inappropriate behaviour.
“However, there is no excuse for invading someone’s personal space in such a brazen manner and without the consent any of these victims. De Chiara’s actions were wholly inappropriate and have led to these young females experiencing fear in a situation through no fault of their own.
“These were women who were simply going about their normal daily routine such as walking a dog, sitting on a bus to work or travelling back from a nice shopping trip. All public places where they should have felt safe. It is heartening that they trusted us to prove this fact in court and achieve three convictions of sexual assault.
“I hope the verdict passed by the jury, along with the strong prosecution case by Mr Gow and the dedicated police investigation will provide some confidence that victims of sexual abuse in any form will be listened to, and that these type of incidents are simply not acceptable.”
De Chiara will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on April 30, 2021.