Cumbria Crack

Jail sentence given to man who groped “stunned” student in Kendal bar

Carlisle Crown Court

[A] MAN has been convicted of groping a “stunned” student inside a crowded Kendal bar, and handed a nine-month jail term.

However, Carlisle Crown Court heard there is a warrant out for the arrest of Lukasz Bala after he failed to attend his trial earlier this week.

Thirty-six-year-old Bala’s trial went ahead in his absence. His victim told a jury about the crime, which occurred inside Smokies bar just after midnight on April 28 last year.

“He came up behind me – quite close behind me – and put his hand between my legs,” she said, adding that it remained there for “10 to 15 seconds”.

The sober woman grabbed the culprit’s fingers and pointed him out to a bouncer. She picked out Bala, who had been “in drink”, during a later identification procedure.

The woman had flashbacks to the incident, and been left “absolutely stunned”.

After hearing evidence during the trial, a jury of seven women and five men today (FRI) unanimously convicted Bala of a sexual assault charge he had previously denied before returning to his native Poland.

Recorder Mark Ainsworth gave a jail term to the absent Bala, of Greengate, Kendal, for what he described as a “very unpleasant” crime.

Bala will be arrested upon his return to the UK and ordered to serve the jail term. He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

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