March 2015

Wheathampstead man convicted of sexually assaulting 14-year-old in Harpenden walks free from court

A Wheathampstead man convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl at a bus stop in Harpenden was sentenced to a year in jail yesterday.

But Andrew Porterfield, 46, will be released from prison immediately because of the time he has spent on remand after breaching his bail conditions.

St Albans crown court heard that Porterfield had been drinking when he asked the girl if she had a boyfriend and other personal questions. As she moved away, he stroked her on the hip and leg.

Porterfield of Wright Close, Wheathampstead, denied any sexual assault, but was convicted by the jury. He had no previous convictions for sexual offences.

David Smithet, defending, said his client continued to deny the offence. He said he had spent 223 days in custody after breaching bail conditions in July last year. This was more than the equivalent of a year’s sentence.

He said Porterfield has now lost his accommodation because of the length of time he has spent in jail.

Judge Andrew Bright QC said the offence was aggravated because the girl was aged only 14. In addition to the jail sentence, Porterfield must register as a sex offender for 10 years.