'Shy and awkward' student, 19, faces JAIL after sex assault conviction

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Jamie Griffiths outside Manchester Magistrates' Court, where he was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault

Jamie Griffiths outside Manchester Magistrates' Court, where he was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault 

A 'shy and awkward' student is facing jail after he touched a teenager 'in an attempt to befriend her.' 

Jamie Griffiths, 19, Googled 'how to make a friend' then came into contact with the 17-year-old during two attempts to engage her in conversation. 

The victim burst into tears during the second encounter and went to police with her mother, claiming Griffiths 'would have touched her breast had she not moved away'.

She claimed her school work suffered as a result of the contact, leaving her unable to sit her mock exams and apply to Oxford University.  

Griffiths, who lives with his parents and now studies at Durham University, denied two charges of sexual assault, claiming he was 'shy, anxious and awkward'. 

He said he had 'clumsily' approached the girl in an attempt 'to make a friend but the words didn't come out.' 

Griffiths was convicted at Manchester Magistrates' Court and will be sentenced later this month. The offence carries a maximum sentence of ten years jail if dealt with at a crown court and he faces being ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register.

The incidents occurred between October and November last year while the pair were studying A levels at a secondary school in Knutsford, the court heard.

The girl, now 18, said she had been walking home when she encountered Griffiths on a railway bridge.

She told the hearing: 'I saw him facing a hedge and I thought it was really weird. As I walked towards him, he suddenly swung round so he was facing me.

'As soon as he moved I moved and said: 'stop' and he touched my arm. I sort of jolted out of the way and went into the road to avoid him and he very quickly walked away. 

'I think it would have been on my breast had I not moved. When it first happened I didn't think much of it. I forgot about it because I had my exams and just thought it was weird behaviour.'

Griffiths told the hearing: 'My intention was to make a friend. All my friends had left so I was lonely I just wanted to speak to someone'

Griffiths told the hearing: 'My intention was to make a friend. All my friends had left so I was lonely I just wanted to speak to someone'

She said she encountered Griffiths a second time: 'He suddenly moved to walk in front of me, looked me straight in the eye, touched me on my side and walked off.

'It was quite a while - three to five seconds. He smirked at me, he didn't stop he just touched me and walked off and I broke down crying - it was quite traumatic.

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