A pensioner with a “creepy smirk” has been jailed after sexually assaulting a female estate agent and a client who went to view a house in Kempston.
Brendon Murphy, 75, spotted the prospective buyer when she turned up to look at the property next door to his Beatrice Street home.
He invited her in for a cup of tea because the estate agent she was expecting to meet hadn’t yet turned up.
The woman thought the pensioner was being kind and neighbourly, Luton Crown Court heard.
But Murphy was nothing of the sort and within moments sat next to her at the table, blocking her way out.
He asked the woman if she had a boyfriend, saying if she didn’t then perhaps they could be “partners.”
He then stroked the woman’s face as she found herself trapped in his home.
When the estate agent turned up, Murphy invited her into his home as well – and brushed the back of his hand against her breast.
Murphy appeared in court to be sentenced for two offences of sexually assaulting the women in February 2017.
Judge Nic Madge told Murphy his first victim felt “uncomfortable and vulnerable” in his house. And when Murphy stroked her face, continuing stroking for around one minute, the woman was “terrified”.
The judge said the estate agent phoned the woman asking where she was and, as a result, came to Murphy’s door.
“You invited her in and said: ‘Have you got a boyfriend? I need a girlfriend’,” said Judge Madge.
“As you walked past her to pick up some papers, the back of your hand brushed across her breast. You then said that you were a single man living on your own, needed a good woman and that she looked like a good woman.
“As you said that, you touched her face softly with your fingertips then brushed the back of your left hand against her right breast four or five times. She described this as subtle but continuous.”
The judge added: “The touching was over her blazer. As you did this, you had what she described as a ‘creepy smirk’ on your face. She felt really uncomfortable and quite scared.”
Predatory pensioner Brandon Murphy did not give up even after his two victims walked out of his house, Luton Crown Court heard.
The female estate agent and her client were both scared when Murphy touched them in a sexual manner after inviting them in for a cup of tea.
They left his Kempston house together and went into the empty property next door
But Murphy followed them into that house where he again touched the face of the estate agent, Luton Crown Court heard.
Judge Nic Madge said: “She felt really frightened and panicked. She called her office and you then left. Both women were so frightened that they ran to the estate agent’s car and she drove off.
Murphy had eight previous convictions for 14 offences, including shoplifting, fraudulently using a vehicle licence, driving with no insurance, possessing drugs with intent to supply, criminal damage, driving with excess alcohol, failing to provide a specimen for analysis and three offences of driving while disqualified.
The judge said the defendant’s behaviour that day had been described as “eccentric”.
He added “It was not. It was the behaviour of a sexual predator.
“The location and the fact that estate agents may be vulnerable in that they have to visit other peoples’ homes may be aggravating features,” he said.
Judge Madge said a sentence of imprisonment would “undoubtedly” be harder for someone of Murphy’s age.
“I have carefully considered the option of a non-custodial sentence set out in the pre-sentence report, but the circumstances in which these offences occurred and the fear caused to these women mean that, having regard to your culpability and harm, they are so serious that I have no option but to impose immediate custodial sentence.”
He jailed Murphy for a total of nine months and said his name would be placed on the sex offenders register.