A 72-year old man who subjected three schoolgirls to a sexual assault has been jailed.
In committing the offence Desmond Hall, 72 (18.1.40) also breached a sexual offences prevention order, and at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday 31 January he was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.
Hall, of Kings Scholars Passage SW1, was arrested following the incident last year.
At approximately 14:15hrs on Thursday 20 October 2011, officers were called to reports of a number of assaults in Newport Place WC2. A group of five 14 -15 year old girls, part of a school party on a day trip to London, were waiting at the bandstand in Newport Place when they were approached by a man who inappropriately touched them. Their teacher attempted to intervene and Hall hugged and kissed him before making off.
Hall walked away and into the New China Restaurant in Gerrard Street W1 before being ejected for causing a disturbance. He then hailed a black taxi in Gerrard Street and headed into Shaftesbury Avenue in the direction of Piccadilly Circus.
The party returned back to their school - however one of the pupils had recorded the incident on a mobile phone. This was recovered by police and Hall was identified by one of the officers.
Hall was arrested on Monday 24 October 2011 and taken to a central London police station where he was charged with two breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and three counts of sexual assault against children.
He appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 25 October 2011 and was remanded in custody to appear at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday 3 January 2012 where he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. On 31 January 2012 Hall was sentenced at the same venue.
Investigating officer, DS Darren Nayler, said:
"Through his actions, Hall ensured that what should have been a happy day for the students ended in misery for a number of them. Hopefully they can take some comfort from the fact that he has been given a custodial sentence and will not be out on the streets and able to subject anyone