A drunk pervert hid in bushes before molesting a woman as she walked to work.

Christopher Roberts, 25, went on to assault another woman as she walked through a churchyard in central Banbury on May 25, 2019.

Jurors at Oxford Crown Court took three hours to convict him of two counts of sexual assault.

During the three day trial, the court heard that Roberts had been at an all-night drinking session with friends, drinking whisky and playing video games.

He originally told police he had left his friend’s home at around 5.30am, although during his trial he claimed he left later.

The timing was significant. The first victim was walking through People’s Park at around 8.30am on her way to work when she noticed a man, who she thought was drunk, dive behind a bush behind her.

She became aware of a man following her. He grabbed her from behind and molested her over her clothing before walking away.

The woman told jurors: “I ran to the exit, I turned and looked and I saw the back of the guy walking casually back towards the path.”

Within minutes another woman was assaulted as she walked through St Mary’s churchyard. A man ran behind her and attempted to pull down her trousers. She managed to stop her attacker, who ran off.

Roberts was arrested shortly after 9am by police conducting searches of the area.

Put in the witness stand, he denied being the sex attacker. He said he’d been walking around trying to sober up when he was arrested. When he told police in his interview that he’d left his friend’s at around 5.30am it was to buy alcohol and the officers had misunderstood.

His advocate, Gareth James, pointed to inconsistencies in the victims’ descriptions of their attacker and emphasised the short amount of time they’d had to see him.

“If you cannot be sure that it is the same man the only verdict is one of not guilty,” he said.

After the jury returned their verdicts, Judge Nigel Daly bailed Roberts, of Bird Close, Banbury, to return to court for sentence on July 23 and ordered the preparation of a pre-sentence report. His bail conditions ban him from entering the People’s Park.

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