A civil servant has been jailed after sexually assaulting a 14-year-old schoolgirl on a bus in Nottinghamshire.
Father-of-one Newton Stewart, aged 36, committed the offence on the Rainbow 1 bus, operated by Trentbarton between Eastwood, Kimberley and Nottingham.
He has been jailed for 12 weeks, placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and barred from working with children.
District Judge Leo Pyle, sentencing, said: “This girl was specifically targeted on a bus with others present.
“The girl’s confidence has been badly affected and the assault has also had an effect on her schoolwork.”
Stewart denied a charge of sexually touching the girl intentionally and without her consent between Wednesday and Sunday, March 11 and 15, but was convicted after a trial.
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been travelling to and from school.
Passengers observed him and noticed that, even when there were empty seats, he sat next to her.
He touched her leg and thigh and, eventually, one of the passengers reported the matter to the police.
Anna Pierrepont, prosecuting, read a brief summary of the trial, saying Stewart appeared to initially brush the girl’s leg accidentally, but it then became more serious.
She said the girl “felt uncomfortable”, but didn’t have the confidence to speak out.
Stewart said he would have sat further down the bus, but suffered from a back problem.
He denied intentionally touching the girl and even having a conversation with her, except to give her advice.
Mrs Pierrepont said magistrates at the trial found the girl “credible and convincing” and had “not been over-egging the pudding”.
However, they thought Stewart was “far from truthful throughout”.
Paul Wright, mitigating, said an appeal against conviction would be lodged after revealing Stewart’s career is now “in pieces”.
Mr Wright said: “He has worked his way up to a responsible position as a civil servant.
“However, since this offence came to light, he has been suspended and will lose his job.
“He is a man of previous positive, good character.
“He and his wife, who is from South Africa, have worked hard to settle and live in this country, and have a nine-year-old daughter, but the effect of this on them has been significant.”
As well as the jail sentence, a restraining order was imposed, banning Stewart indefinitely from contacting the girl and travelling on the Rainbow 1 bus between 7am and 9am and between 3pm and 5pm on any weekday.
Stewart, of Swindon Close, Giltbrook, was also told to pay a victim surcharge of £80.