A man who indecently assaulted a 16-year-old by groping her breast as she walked to work has been sentenced to community service.

Nicholas Derek Jones, who is 35, initially pleaded not guilty to indecent assault but then changed his plea to guilty.

Jones, who lives at All Saints Park, Lonan, also admitted possessing magic mushrooms which were found at his home during a police search.

High Bailiff Jayne Hughes ordered him to do 200 hours’ unpaid work and also put him on the sex offenders’ register for one year.

He must also pay the victim £500 compensation.

The court heard that the 16-year-old was walking to work on October 17 at 8.45am last year when she encountered Jones.

He was said to have wrapped one arm around her neck while cupping her breast with the other hand.

The girl was said to be in tears after the incident.

After being arrested police searched Jones’s home and found 47.88 grams of mushrooms which contained psilocybin, a hallucinogenic chemical.

They were valued at between £478 and £957.

Prosecuting advocate Hazel Carroon read out a victim impact statement from the girl which said that the incident had affected her emotionally and mentally.

She said that her mother now had to take her everywhere by car as she was afraid of walking on her own.

The girl said she was receiving help from victim support but was now ’a lot more wary of other people’.

The statement went on to say: ’I don’t think I’ll ever forget about it. It has not only affected me but those around me.

’I’ll never understand why someone would do that to me, making my way to work on a Saturday morning.’

High Bailiff Mrs Hughes queried Jones’s comments in a probation report which suggested that he had not accepted there was a sexual element to the offence.

Defence advocate Dawn Jones said that her client was intoxicated at the time, so he did not have the ability to say what his intentions were, but he accepted that he had cupped the girl’s breast and placed pressure on it, and that in itself was indecent.

Ms Jones said that Jones had entered a not guilty plea while being represented by a different advocate.

She said that, while the incident itself was not captured by CCTV, there was footage of the girl crying afterwards and Jones in the vicinity, which had not been shown to him previously.

’As soon as he saw the video and listened to my advice he entered his guilty plea,’ said Ms Jones.

’He was mortified as to what he had done.

’He can’t express how much he deeply regrets hurting this young lady. He hopes she has had some relief from the guilty plea.’

The advocate went on to say that her client had a degree and a masters degree, and had his own business.

Jones was said to be seeing Motiv8, having been said to have made a commitment to not drink so much or use drugs.

The court heard that he has a previous conviction in 2018 for indecent behaviour after he waved his penis at passers by in Athol Street in Douglas and was fined £100.

A probation report assessed Jones as a low risk of reoffending and of harm to others.

High Bailiff Mrs Hughes sentenced Jones to 140 hours’ community service for the indecent assault and 60 hours for possession of a class ’A’ drug.

He was also ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs.