A DRUNKEN man sexually assaulted a woman and racially abused staff at a supermarket and Hereford police station.

Edmund Wade admitted four counts of using racially aggravated threatening, abusive, or insulting words or behaviour and one of sexual assault when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

The 71-year-old, who was accompanied in court by a support worker, had gone into the Co-op supermarket in Tenbury Wells at 6pm on January 31, despite being banned from the shop, prosecutor Eleanor Peart said.

Police were called after Wade, who was drunk and carrying a pint glass containing alcohol, used obscenities towards two staff members at the shop, making reference to their skin colour.

He was still hurling abuse when officers arrived, the court heard, and was also seen touching a woman's groin over her clothes and making obscene comments.

The female victim said she felt soiled that he had touched her in an intimate place.

Wade was taken to Hereford police station, where he continued his racial abuse, hurling obscenities at a detention officer.


In police interview, Wade, who has a number of previous convictions including for public order offences and affray, said the staff in the Co-op had been 'coloured' and that he had not been racist or drunk.

He told officers he did not think it was an offence to touch a woman sexually without permission.

Marilena Di Vitantonio, for Wade, said he had entered guilty pleas and asked for the case to be adjourned for a pre-sentencing report to be carried out.

The case was adjourned for the report and Wade, of Kyreside, Tenbury Wells, will appear before magistrates in Hereford for sentencing on June 29.