Photo © Mike Pennington (cc-by-sa/2.0)

A former army captain has been jailed for sexually assaulting a sleeping 14 year old girl on a train, following a British Transport Police investigation.

Michael Hunt, aged 58, of Warren Farm, Formby, Merseyside, denied the change but was found guilty on Friday, 7 August, by a jury following a two day trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

He was sentenced today, Friday, October 9, to 10 months in jail and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The court heard how on 11 April 2019, the victim boarded the train at Seaforth and LItherland station and shortly into the journey Hunt, who had already boarded the train at Moorfields station, moved to sit opposite her.

The guard checked on the girl who appeared to be sleeping and saw Hunt sitting opposite and moving towards her.

He went to investigate and saw Hunt with his hand between the girl’s legs – he shouted at him to stop molesting the girl, which Hunt denied and the guard told him he was calling the police.

Hunt left the train at Freshfields station prior to police arriving.

The girl woke up shortly afterwards in a distressed state and told a fellow passenger that Hunt had touched her.

An appeal was later circulated to local media with a photo of Hunt from CCTV footage at Moorfields station.

Hunt came forward and identified himself as the man in the picture and was arrested at his home address.

DC Dom Wilcox, investigating officer, said:
“This was a disgusting, opportunist attack on a young girl who was making her way home after a day out with friends. To deny the offence and put his victim through the further distress of a trial was cowardly.

“Hunt’s victim was left deeply traumatised by what he did. She should have been able to travel in safety without falling victim to Hunt’s vile and unwanted behaviour.

“If you’ve experienced any unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway, you can report it discreetly by texting us on 61016. We take any offence of this nature very seriously so please get in touch.”