A STUDENT has been sentenced to one year in prison after sexually assaulting a woman in Festival Place.

Robin Tate, 24, from Kingsclere, came across the woman who was sat on the floor, pulled her up, pinned her to the wall and put his hand up her skirt.

He then escorted her into the shopping centre where he forcibly kissed and touched her, before taking her phone when she tried to call for help.

As Tate was led away into police cells, the victim, who attended the court, started crying.

The man appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday morning after pleading guilty to sexual assault.

The court heard how the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sat on the floor outside Festival Place when Tate approached her after looking around.

The incident was caught on CCTV, which was played in court.

Tate pulled the victim, who was described as 5ft compared to his 6ft 8in, from the ground and pinned her to the wall, where he put her hand up her skirt.

He then led her inside Festival Place, where she tried to walk away. He blocked her with his body, pinned her to the wall and led her back to a nearby bench.

The court heard how Tate's behaviour was "angry or frustrated", who sat in the dock with his head in his hands when the video was played.

Prosecutor Leigh Hart told the court how the victim could not remember the whole incident, as she had been drinking with friends after work.

"(She) says that what she does remember is that she was scared.

"She was squirming at the defendant forcibly kissing her mouth.

"The defendent had his hands either on or very near to her breast area and moves his hands onto the inside of her thigh and the outside of her thigh."

At this point, the victim is trying to move away, and tried to call friends on her phone for help.

However, after no one answered and she tried to get up, Tate trapped her leg between his.

"She doesn't know what to do, she is on her own," Ms Hart continued.

After Tate took her phone, she took his phone to bargain for it back.

Eventually CCTV operators noticed what was happening and alerted police officers, who forced Tate up from the bench and away from the victim, who was visibly distressed.

In her victim impact statement in August, the woman said: "Once the realisation set in it took a massive toll on me.

"I started being more and more reluctant to go out.

"My anxiety has caused me a lot of issues.

"I would rather look the defendant in the eye rather than hide behind the screen."

Ms Hart said that the assault had elements of abduction - the taking of her phone and trapping of her leg - and should be treated more seriously.

However, defence counsel Chloe Jay said that the abduction features were not met on the sentencing guidlines.

"It is extremely difficult to watch the footage and not be moved," she said.

"He had believed that his memory had been that it was more of a two-way thing."

The court heard how Tate had requested to write a letter of apology to the victim, and wanted to pay her compensation.

Winchester Crown Court also heard how Tate was "highly likely" to lose his job at the outcome of proceedings, having currently been suspended.

Summing up, Judge Keith Cutler said: "I know you have seen that sequence of CCTV before and I understand how you cannot bring yourself to watch it.

"It is quite clear very early on that the message is no.

"You don't just persist, you physically persist.

"You get hold of her, you don't let her walk out of Festival Place and quite aggresively start fondling with her body.

"Everybody looking at that footage came to the very clear conclusion that this behaviour must be treated accordingly.

"It saddens me, but does not surprise me, that the impact of all that is as we have heard."

He sentenced Tate to 12 months in prison and instructed him to register on the Sex Offenders register for ten years.

Tate will also have to pay a victim surcharge, although there was no order for costs.