Shy boy is arrested for touching a girl

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GonHunter
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12 Oct 2019, 4:25 pm

Sounds like a joke, but it's not. A 19-year-old boy was arrested for trying to approach a girl. According to himself, he had researched on the internet techniques of how to approach people. Because of his lack of social skills, the girl said it was "traumatic." He just smiled and touched her arm and waist.He can take up to 10 years in prison!If you want, search for information at the Manchester Evening News.



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12 Oct 2019, 6:03 pm

The encounters with a teenage girl that have left this 'shy' student facing jail - this is what he told the court, and what his victim said

Quote:
An 'awkward' university undergraduate facing jail as a convicted sex offender after he touched a would-be Oxbridge student on the arm and waist in the street.

Jamie Griffiths, 19, searched for ''how to make a friend'' on the internet then came into contact with the girl, then 17, in two encounters as she walked to and from school.

The victim, who was due to sit her mock exams, burst into tears during the second encounter and went to police - with her mother saying Griffiths would have touched her breast had she not moved away from him.

She later described how her school work had suffered, she was unable to sit her mock exams and said the unwanted touching had hindered her application process to Oxford University.

At Manchester magistrates court, Durham University student Griffiths - who lives with his parents in Knutsford - was convicted of two charges of sexual assault.

He denied the charges claiming he was a ‘shy, anxious and awkward’ teenager who had clumsily approached the girl in an attempt 'to make a friend but the words didn't come out'.

He will be sentenced later this month and also faced being ordered to sign the Sex offender Register.

The offence carries a maximum sentence of ten years jail if dealt with at a crown court.

The incidents occurred between October and November last year whilst the pair were studying for A levels at secondary school.

The girl, now 18, said she had been walking home from an English lesson when she encountered Griffiths on a railway bridge.

She told the hearing: ''I was just set on getting home and revising for my mock exams but as I was coming over the bridge I saw him facing a hedge and I thought it was really weird. He wasn’t doing anything he was just facing the hedge, staring at it.

"As I walked towards him, I was watching him and he suddenly swung round so he was facing me.

''I remember it happening fast. As soon as he moved I moved and I said: 'stop' and he touched me on my arm. I sort of jolted out of the way and I went into the road to avoid him and he very quickly walked away.

"I think it would have been on my breast had I not moved. When it first happened I didn’t think much of it, didn’t click in my head, I just thought that was really weird. Why did he touch me?

“I forgot about it for a while because I had my exams. I just thought it was weird behaviour.”

She said she encountered Griffiths again on November 7 at lunchtime as she was on her way to school to sit a timed English essay having been revising at home.

She added: ''I was quite far up the road when I noticed him. He is someone who lives in my area, someone I have seen before. I thought I recognised him but I didn’t think it was the person from the first incident at the time.

''It was only when he moved to touch me and looked me in the eyes that I realised it was the same person. The pavement was quite wide but he suddenly moved to walk in front of me, looked me straight in the eye and touches me on my side and walked off.

''It was quite a while - three to five seconds. He smirked at me, he didn’t stop he just touched me and walked off and I broke down crying in the street - it was quite traumatic.

“I had reported the previous incident to the police to days before hand as it had been going around that other incidents had occurred and I thought I could give more evidence, and then it happened again. It came up on a local Facebook group chat.

“I broke down in tears straight away and rang my mum. I attempted to follow him initially and get a picture, but I wasn’t quick enough.

“I rang my mum she came and picked me up. We went straight to the house and then went straight to the police station and reported the incident.

''I was trying to revise for these exams and I couldn’t focus at all. Every time I started working I would cry because I would think about it. I felt very unsafe even in my own home I couldn’t walk to school for a couple of weeks, I wouldn’t leave the house myself even to go into town in Knutsford.

“I didn’t sit my mock exams so I didn’t get that practice, I struggled for a couple of months afterwards, I was applying for Oxford at the time and I found going to Oxford a stressful thing.

"Even today walking down the street it just makes everything a little bit scarier. If there is a guy walking towards me by himself I start to panic. It is just part of everyday life.

“It was more shocking that someone thought they had the right to touch me as I walked down the street.''

Griffiths, who had been volunteering at a Barnado's charity shop in between lessons, told the hearing: “I had seen her in the school and I turned around and I went to touch her arm to start a conversation and she just walked off. My intention was to make a friend. All my friends had left. I was lonely I just wanted to speak to someone.

“She was walking towards me and I recognised her. I didn’t say anything but I really wanted to say something - the words just didn’t come out. I touched her but I believed that it was the arm I was touching.

''I smiled at her I was just trying to be friendly. I tried to get her attention and she ignored me. Touching someone’s arm to get their attention I would have thought was normal. I was looking for a friend.''

Griffiths, who has since signed up to Facebook and Instagram in the hope of making new friends, added: ''I would say I’m very anxious and I don't naturally make friends although really I try to. When I looked up: 'trying to meet new people' and 'make new friends' one of the things I read was to start off with a joke.

“I have always been a very anxious person, my friends all seem to really know what to do and I never really asked of them how they did it.

"I have always been more stay at home with my parents and loneliness is all consuming. I really needed someone to talk to at the time and my intention was to make a friend - but I clearly didn’t go about it the right way and I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

''I tried to speak to her but I just couldn’t. My anxiety kicks in and it makes it impossible to say anything. She just so happened to be walking home from school those times and I have not targeted her. I would hate to make someone feel uncomfortable of scared I would absolutely hate that. Maybe it is time to try to make friends another way.''

His lawyer Claire Aldridge told JPs: ''She did say: 'I think it would have been on my breast had I not moved' but what she thinks might have happened isn’t the issue.

''Are you dealing with somebody lying in wait in broad day light or are you dealing with an anxious and awkward young man, someone who struggles to make friends by his own admission? He is a particularly shy, anxious young man who spends most of his time studying with his parents.”

But prosecutor Victoria Norman said: “The complainant was adamant about what she had suffered and was very frank and honest with this court. He intended to touch her breast area and was waiting for her.

"What rational person looks up: 'how to make a friend'? Even if the defendant is advancing he was just seeking to make a friend he waits in two areas that are isolated on her route home, he touches her.

“An attempt to make a friendship with anyone surely starts with a hello or a wave.”

Convicting Griffiths, magistrates told him: "The complainant's evidence was very clear, logical and without embellishment. We can think of no motivation for you to touch the victim other than sexual.

"Had she not taken evasive action the assault was likely to have been even more serious. The first assault can be recognised as opportunistic however there is more evidence of premeditation in the second.”


It is a he said/she said situation but it does not look good for him because in the first incident he continued after she said "stop" and there was a second incident. That said it would seem to me that if the guy was a true perv he would have touched her breast and privates etc. If this shy social cluelessness is real and not an attempt to skip punishment it is surprising that something be it Autism or Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder etc was not picked up.


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12 Oct 2019, 6:38 pm

That is absolutely horrible... I mean... Well. They are prosecuting on what might have happened. Not on what happened. Yes. I fully understand that it is possible the young man could have intended something more sinister. But how do they know? How do they know if he really is telling the tuth? If he is really telling the truth, then the courts actions have messed up a young mans life for good. The girl will get over it. She has had a shock. The boy never will. Even if he does not serve a prison sentence. He will not get over it if it is true what he said.
So I believe if this is found out that his side was true, then the judge and jury are guilty of wrong decisions here. As they assume that every man is the same. They don't know what it is like to be a man who is nurvous and does not really have any social skills. So it is a big concern.

The only real way to tell (And I am really surprized this has not been done BEFORE the case was heard, is that the young man should have been assessed by professionals to see where he stood. This is the only way that this case could be seen justly from all points of view. Not doing this means that one is assuming the young man thinks and reacts in the same ways that everyone else does.

The real case here is not what was done by the boy to the girl, but how the case has been dealt with, and I am really concerned that the elements into his mental health were not first addressed BEFORE the case came to trial.


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13 Oct 2019, 3:44 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
The girl will get over it. She has had a shock. The boy never will. Even if he does not serve a prison sentence. He will not get over it if it is true what he said.


It's just horrible to say that; you can't know for sure if the girl will get over it or not. She was clearly traumatized, regardless if the guy had ill intentions or not. The guy doesn't deny touching her, so she clearly is the victim here and something needs to be done so that the guy doesn't traumatize and hurt more people.

That said, the maximum ten years in prison would be too much for something like this if you ask me. Touching a stranger's arm out of the blue is not a wise nor proper thing to do, but that can still be called a rather innocent social blunder. However, touching a stranger's waist? That can be called sexual harrasment for a good reason. While I do believe that it's possible the guy really was trying to just make a friend, that doesn't change the fact that what he did was wrong. At the very least, if the conclusion that he's nothing but extremely awkward man without very basic manners is reached, he should be put in to a not optional course on manners, mainly what's okay to do to other people without permission and what isn't. And hopefully, if the girl got a longer lasting trauma, she'll get the help she needs.



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13 Oct 2019, 6:15 am

I don't think you get what I am saying here.


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13 Oct 2019, 6:28 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
I don't think you get what I am saying here.


Could be. What I think you're saying is that people are overreacting way too much and the guy shouldn't be punished for what he did since he didn't know any better. Now, you're worried that this, a thing that is completely meaningless in your mind, might ruin his entire life and you think it's unfair. Am I right?



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13 Oct 2019, 7:10 am

I feel sad for both parties here. Although someone randomly touching me (not in inappropriate places) wouldn't alarm me to the point of traumatizing me. It May be that the guy has autism or a similar disability and this should be taken into account. I hope he doesn't get traumatized too much either. It doesn't seem like he's a sex offended just not educated on how to approach people in an acceptable way. That's no fault of his.



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13 Oct 2019, 7:35 am

I feel torn.

Don't touch people without consent. Especially because women (and good looking women) can be autistic too. People have touch sensitivities and boundary issues. I would hate to be touched without consent, regardless of where on the body it was.

But this sentence is way too harsh. I've known cases where people have actually raped and had less long sentences.

I don't even think this should have been a police matter. She should have told him 'don't touch me' and he should've said 'sorry'.



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13 Oct 2019, 7:38 am

KT67 wrote:

I don't even think this should have been a police matter. She should have told him 'don't touch me' and he should've said 'sorry'.


^Exactly. And the woman in question might have a traumatic experience in the past too which could be even worse.



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13 Oct 2019, 7:54 am

AprilR wrote:
KT67 wrote:

I don't even think this should have been a police matter. She should have told him 'don't touch me' and he should've said 'sorry'.


^Exactly. And the woman in question might have a traumatic experience in the past too which could be even worse.


But didn't she say "stop" the first time?



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13 Oct 2019, 8:19 am

^I meant to say the issue could have been handled without getting the police involved. I just got the impression that the guy was just socially impaired and didn't have any ill intentions. He might have not realized he crossed a boundary. (or maybe i'm undermining things since i live in a seriously sexist country)



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13 Oct 2019, 10:16 am

AprilR wrote:
^I meant to say the issue could have been handled without getting the police involved. I just got the impression that the guy was just socially impaired and didn't have any ill intentions. He might have not realized he crossed a boundary. (or maybe i'm undermining things since i live in a seriously sexist country)


That might indeed have been the best option... if he had tried something after the girl had said something, then no one could deny that he's a sexual offender. Still, we must all remember that while most might not be all that disturped about being touched on their arm and waist, that was the case with this girl and her experience must not be belittled. Had she not been so upset by it, she migh have handled things differently. Even so, putting any blame on her in this situation would be wrong.

And again, touching a stranger's waist really isn't appropriate. Even if no one pressed charges against that guy, he seriously needs to learn some basic manners.



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13 Oct 2019, 10:22 am

^ Yeah, i definitely didn't mean to be little her experience. What people experience only they can understand. Also people should consider the fact that all countries in general are sexist and crimes against women are still very common everywhere. So women have all the right to be wary of strangers.



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13 Oct 2019, 10:25 am

Do Not Taunt The Moderators.

Do Not Step On The Grass.

Do Not Troll The Members.

Do Not Feed The Bears.

Do Not Spam The Website.

Do Not Touch The Women.


What’s so hard to understand?


:scratch:


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13 Oct 2019, 12:17 pm

Fnord wrote:
Do Not Taunt The Moderators.

Do Not Step On The Grass.

Do Not Troll The Members.

Do Not Feed The Bears.

Do Not Spam The Website.

Do Not Touch The Women.


What’s so hard to understand?


:scratch:


Do not step on the grass is hard to understand... or at least, I've never really understood the point of that rule. :|