A 41-year-old man with a known history of outraging public decency and targeting young girls, still managed to secure a job at St. Anne’s Pier Amusement Arcade, where he groped a schoolgirl and left her terrified and sobbing. Omar Hayes from St. David’s Road North, Lytham was branded an “unrepentant paedophile” by a Preston Crown Court Judge. He secured the job at the arcade after a fire at the chip shop where he previously worked. The court heard that he had eight previous convictions for 14 offences including a 2016 case of outraging public decency, which also involved him targeting young girls.
Preston Crown Court heard that the girl was in the St Anne’s Pier Arcade with her brother and parents and was enjoying playing games with her sibling when 41-year-old Hayes approached. Hayes approached the 15-year-old girl who was standing at an amusement machine. He spoke to her and then repeatedly grabbed her bottom, holding her hips. The girl was visibly uncomfortable and scared about what was happening, but Hayes was undeterred.
Edward Steele, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant came over to her and stood speaking to her and put his hand on her bottom and hip. She does not recall if it was with one hand or two but the defendant touched her a few times.
When her money ran out, the defendant attempted to convince her to stay there by saying ‘you’ve got more time’, the implication being he’d added more money to the game.’ As Hayes continued to put his arm around her, the girl was shocked, uncomfortable and did not know what to do
The young girl tried to indicate for her brother to stand between them and ultimately ran off in a distressed state before telling her mother what had happened. The family called the police and Hayes was arrested but denied doing anything wrong.
In a victim impact statement, the 15-year-old girl said she felt traumatised and frozen in fear by Hayes’ actions. She said she has spent nights sobbing bed as a result and is now too anxious to go out with her friends and is conscious of how she dresses for fear of what may happen to her. The girl said she no longer feels able to trust men and does not feel like her outgoing self any more.
The court heard that Hayes has an adult daughter who he remains in contact with and that he continues to be supported by his partner of four years. A request for an adjournment for a pre-sentence report was denied as a result of him missing a previous appointment.
Sentencing, Judge Guy Mathieson KC said: ‘It seems to me you are sexually attracted to teenage girls. Whether you are able to control that on a day-to-day basis, I do not know. You were working in an arcade in which teenage girls would be present. What does it matter if she was supervised or not? Her parents and brother were around, you sought out and went to, well I don’t know what because you denied it at trial, you denied it to the probation service.’
The judge criticised Hayes for putting the girl and her family through the trial and refusing to explain his actions at any stage. He added that his actions persisted despite the victim being visibly uncomfortable and upset. Judge Mathieson said: ‘I take the view that you are an unrepentant paedophile.’
A Police photograph of Hayes is shown below.