THE boss of a wine bar in Mirfield, who “took advantage” of a former employee when she was drunk, has been found guilty of sexual assault.
Sundeep Passi, who owns The Office on Huddersfield Road, grabbed the victim by the back of her head and kissed her whilst they were both at the Wilsons Arms pub, also in Mirfield, in the early hours of June 9.
The 51-year-old, appearing at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court, was cleared of a second count of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault relating to another female.
Prosecutor Samuel Poniah said: “Mr Passi entered the pub and gave (the victim) £20, telling her to buy Jagerbombs.
“He went to whisper something in her ear and kissed her lips, putting his tongue in her mouth.
“She tried to pull away and he put his hand around the back of her head, preventing her from doing so.”
His victim, who gave evidence in court via a live TV link, said she’d arrived at the pub at around 1am after she’d been out with friends in the town. She said she’d had around 10 gin and tonics and was an ‘eight out of 10’ on a drunk scale.
“He got us all some Jagerbombs, he supplied us with more alcohol,” she told magistrates.
“I remember him whispering something in my ear. He pulled my face towards him and kissed me.
“He put his hand on the back of my head and moved my head to face him. When he put his hand on the back of my head he put his tongue into the back of my mouth.
“I didn’t understand what was going on. I remember at one point trying to back off but because his hand was on my head there wasn’t much I could do.”
The victim started crying as she told the court: “I was unresponsive, walking around not really knowing where I was. He took advantage of me being drunk. It didn’t occur to me until after the incident the severity of the situation.”
Passi, of The Waste in Lower Hopton, told police he couldn’t remember if he’d kissed her or not.
Magistrates ordered a full report before his sentencing on August 15.