A pest who assaulted a female neighbour three times in two days, including carrying out a vile sexual attack on her, has narrowly avoided jail.
Andrew Klieve was told by District Judge Mark Hadfield that he was lucky not to be returning to custody as he was given a community sentence at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard that 49-year-old Klieve first assaulted the woman on Christmas Day at the bedsit in which they were both living on Ince Green Lane, Ince.
He physically attacked her again on Boxing Day and then later went to her room where he stared at her before reaching out his hand and touching her intimately over her clothes.
Prosecuting, Nicola Yeadon told the hearing that the incidents began at around 8pm on December 25 when the victim - who cannot be named for legal reasons - returned to the property’s kitchen to find that a bag of her groceries had gone missing.
Klieve, who lived in the room next door to her, then walked in carrying a bag of food and the two began arguing before he took her by the arms and pushed her back against a kitchen wall, shouting; “you’re evil, you have no soul” at her.
Ms Yeadon said the victim was then woken on Boxing Day by Klieve banging on her room’s door shouting about money that she owed to him.
He was saying that he wanted the cash immediately so that he could watch an Everton football match.
He began counting down from 10 and she agreed to go to a nearby cashpoint for the money.
But when she went out into the kitchen to light a cigarette from the cooker, Klieve slapped her on the back of the neck.
She returned to her room but Klieve came in and stood close to her looking at her before grabbing her through her clothing in an intimate place.
In an impact statement the victim said that the sexual assault made her feel “violated and dirty” and that she was scared to be around her neighbour.
Defending, Nick Lloyd told the court that being remanded in custody while a pre-sentence report was prepared had been an “eye-opener” for his client.
Mr Lloyd said: “He has not relished the experience of being in the prison environment at all.
“In isolation the two assaults are single blows with almost no injuries and the sexual assault is brief.
“But I do accept that all matters taken together push things up the scale somewhat.”
Passing sentence, District Judge Hadfield told Klieve that he had only just avoided returning to a prison cell.
He said: “What I have had to consider is whether the combination of these offences, committed in two days and in the privacy of the home being shared as a multiple occupancy, is such that the custodial threshold has been crossed.