A DRUNK sex attacker repeatedly groped a 14-year-old girl at a party, complimenting her ‘mature body’ and telling her she could be a ‘model’.

When builder Carl Marchant was warned of the girl’s age he replied ‘it’s only two years’, reference to the age of consent being 16.

The 45-year-old of Fairfield Place, Evesham, had already admitted sexual assault at an earlier hearing at the magistrates court when he was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

Siobhan Collins, prosecuting, said when the girl arrived at the party the defendant was already drunk,‘mumbling and not making sense’.

Miss Collins said: “After midnight, at around 1.30am, the defendant, in the presence of others, put his arms around her and told her that she had a mature body, that she could be a model.”

He was ‘pulled up’ about the defendant being only 14 by one of her friends. The defendant’s reply was 'it’s only two years', referring to the age of consent.

The victim, who cannot be identified, was described as feeling ‘uncomfortable’.

When she encountered him again he touched her bottom and said: “Where do you think you’re going, running past me like that?”

The girl, who was described as ‘scared’, ignored him and by this stage was actively trying to hide, Miss Collins told the court. Marchant touched her breasts and was again warned to stop, this time by a man.

Before he left the party, when Marchant was alone with the girl, matters were described as ‘coming to a head’.

Miss Collins said: “The defendant approached her from behind, wrapped his arms around her and grabbed her breasts, one in each hand, and squeezed.”

The girl later told her mother and Marchant apologised, saying he was ‘really drunk’.

However, in police interview he submitted a prepared statement denying the offence and answered ‘no comment’ to further questions.

Marchant has 20 convictions for 38 offences, none of them sexual offences. He was last before the court in 2010 where he was imprisoned for racially aggravated violence.

Miss Collins said aggravating features were the sustained and repeated nature of the sexual assault, the vulnerability of the victim due to her age and the commission of the offence under the influence of alcohol.

Barry Newton, defending, asked that Marchant be given full credit for his guilty plea and said, on the night in question, Marchant had consumed Scrumpy cider and Sambuca shots.

Mr Newton said Marchant had shown ‘genuine remorse’. However, judge Robert Juckes QC asked Mr Newton why Marchant, if remorseful, had initially denied the offence.

Mr Newton replied: “Procrastination, concern about stigma, humiliation and embarrassment.”

He added that the builder had not been able to work because he was worried about what might happen to him and had been living off savings.

Judge Juckes said: “You stand now publicly exposed as behaving at this party in a way which most people would simply regard as disgusting. "The word ‘inappropriate’ is wholly inadequate. It was the persistent, sexual pursuit of a 14-year-old by a 45-year-old which went on for at least an hour.”

He said the sexual assault culminated in what must have been the ‘most frightening moment’ for her and said the long term effect could be ‘significant’, including loss of confidence.

The judge sentenced him to 12 months in prison suspended for two years. He must also complete the Horizon programme (29 group and two individual sessions), 25 rehabilitation activity days and 150 hours of unpaid work.

Marchant was ordered to pay costs of £340. A restraining order was also made, preventing Marchant having contact, directly or indirectly, with the victim.