Man cleared of sex offence, but guilty of assault on woman, 18
- Credit: Archant
A man has been found guilty of assaulting a woman who had got lost while on her way to work in Norwich.
The woman, who was 18, was on her way to start a new job and was walking down Carrow Hill when she was approached.
Norwich Crown Court has heard the woman was grabbed by the man who told her he wanted to have sex and tried to pull her into a side road or driveway.
Anesu Nzanga, 38, of Bracondale, Norwich, has gone on trial after pleading not guilty to committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence at 5.20am on October 13, 2018.
He also denied an offence of assault by beating on the same date.
A jury of six men and six women had been out deliberating for more than seven hours before finding Nzanga guilty of assault by beating.
But on Friday afternoon (March 19) the jury found the defendant not guilty of committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.
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Lori Tucker, for Nzanga, said the defendant had already served the equivalent of two years and eight months in custody either on remand or with a tag waiting for the case to be completed.
Judge Stephen Holt, who conceded it was "the oldest case" on the court's books, told Nzanga he had been found not guilty of the "much more serious matter".
He sentenced Nzanga to a total of three months in prison for the assault by beating offence.
The trial, which started earlier this week had heard Nzanga tell the court he had just been trying to help the woman, who appeared to be lost.
When asked by Paul Currer, prosecuting, what right he had to take hold of the complainant’s wrist, he said: “The purpose of it was just to give her directions. It appeared she wasn’t hearing me.”
He said he was told to leave her alone and he admitted swearing at her.
A man on the other side of the road then came over and spoke to Nzanga before taking the woman to work, where the police were contacted.