A dad-of-two who touched a teen girl was branded a sex pest by a judge.

Judge Michael Gledhill QC told Maxwell Da Silva Miranda, from Oxford, he would be ‘perfectly justified’ in sending the 27-year-old to prison.

But his hands were tied by the sentencing guidelines, which directed him to impose a community order on the Headington man.

Sentencing Miranda to a two year community order, Judge Gledhill said: “On March 15, 2019, you came across a group of young women – rather, teenage girls aged around 16, 17 or 18 – in the Cowley Road area.

“You could see they were intoxicated and for whatever reason only known to yourself you decided to start chatting them up.

“You were in your vehicle and as a result of your chatting these girls up they got into your vehicle and the 16-year-old complainant...sat in the passenger seat next to you and you took advantage of her by trying to kiss her, by touching her leg in a sexual way and by [touching her breast over clothing].

“That offence of sexual assault has to be seen in the context of what you were doing over the prolonged period of time that you were in and around the area.

“You were leaving the area, returning, approaching the girls, leaving again, back again.

“You’re a sex pest. That is what you were doing that night, sexually attracted to these young girls.”

Earlier this month, jurors at Oxford Crown Court found Miranda, of Wood Farm Road, Oxford, guilty of one count of sexual assault by touching. They were unable to reach a verdict on a second count of sexual assault against another girl.

Judge Gledhill told Miranda, who stood in the dock holding what appeared to be a leather-bound bible: “If I had the power to send you to prison I would do so. You may be 27-years-old, you may be of previous good character, the offences were two years [ago], you’re the sole breadwinner for your family – a wife and two young children – but you behaved utterly disgracefully on this occasion and I’d be perfectly justified in sending you to prison if I had the power to do so.

“But I have to follow the Sentencing Council definitive guideline on sexual offences and your offending falls into the lowest category in respect of harm and culpability and the starting point in your case is a high level community order with a range of a medium level community order to 26 weeks’ custody.

“The circumstances of this offence are not sufficient for me to send you to prison.”

Lucy Tapper, mitigating, said her client worked as a fork lift truck driver in Didcot. He provided for his partner and two children, aged five and one.

Prosecutor Alexandra Bull formally offered no evidence on the second sexual assault charge and the judge recorded a formal not guilty verdict.

Miranda was ordered to pay £200 compensation to his victim and £800 in costs.

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