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A Stoke-on-Trent man has been jailed today (Tuesday 2 March) for a total of five-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to charges of sexual assault, robbery, criminal damage and drugs possession.
Joshua Paul Smith, aged 26, of Barnfield Road, Burslem, pleaded guilty to three of the charges – for robbery, criminal damage and possession with intent to supply cannabis - in December. And on the second day of his trial today at Stoke Crown Court he also changed his plea to guilty over two charges of sexual assault.
The case related to a number of offences committed by Smith on 8 September 2020.
The first occurred at about 7.30pm on Commercial Street where he tried to force himself upon a woman and threatened her with sexual violence as he tried to get her to perform a sexual act.
At around 8.45pm he and a man were walking to a friend’s house on the Grange Estate when Smith punched and kicked the man to the ground before stealing £500 from his wallet. As Smith fled he left behind his rucksack containing around 500 grams of cannabis with a street value of around £2,000-to-£3,000.
Smith then returned to the estate at about 9pm where he entered an address and sexually assaulted another woman by grabbing her breasts and again threatened her with sexual violence. There was also damage to a gate caused which the criminal damage charge related to.
For the robbery Smith was sentenced to three years and for the first sexual assault he received two-and-a-half years to run consecutively. For the second sex assault he was handed 12 months to run concurrently with the first sexual assault sentence, while he received 10 months for the possession with intent to supply charge and two months for the criminal damage which are both to be served concurrently with the robbery charge.
He also received a 10-year injunction and was also made the subject of a sexual offenders’ notification order where he must notify police of any new address he may inhabit.
DC David Stubbs of Staffordshire Police CID said: “We are very happy that Smith eventually pleaded guilty to these offences and the victims of the sexual assaults were saved from having to relive their ordeals in court.
“We hope this sends a message out, both to offenders that they will be dealt with appropriately by the criminal justice system, and that victims will be protected and have their complaints listened to compassionately by police should they wish to come forward to us.
“We always do our utmost to protect victims, particularly vulnerable victims, of these types of offences and make the communities we serve a safer place to live.”