A Chatham man has been jailed after he randomly approached a woman and aggressively grabbed her over her clothing on 26 August 2022 at a store in Luton Road, Chatham.

The victim challenged him but when they were both outside the shop he continued to pester and follow her.

Patrols attended and swiftly located and arrested the man, Robert Berko.

He was taken into custody but continued to act in a sexualised and abusive manner and inappropriately touched an officer. Berko also removed all his clothes while he was in a cell before he committed an indecent act. At the same time, he repeatedly used an intercom to ask for a female officer or member of staff to visit him.

Robert Berko, aged 30 was charged with two counts of sexual assault and a further count of criminal damage (relating to the police cell). He pleaded guilty and also admitted unrelated offences, which took place in February and March 2022, which included four counts of assault on an emergency worker.

On 13 April 2023, Berko was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to 22 months’ imprisonment. He was also made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

PC Sam Mackey said: ‘Berko’s disturbing behaviour will have caused considerable distress and the victim he assaulted in the shop was left in genuine fear for her safety. I’m pleased we have been able to remove him from the streets as quickly as possible and that the courts have now rightly passed a custodial sentence.

‘Tackling violence and sexual offences against women and girls is a top priority for Kent Police, and we do not hesitate to prosecute those whose actions can cause real fear and anxiety within our town centre and communities.’

By Ed

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