Judge Paul Batty (pictured) lambasted John Lewis Lyons, 66, for lying about needing a wheelchair during his case
A sex offender who groped and threatened to kill his victim while doing maintenance work then falsely claimed that he was wheelchair-bound in court.
John Lewis Lyons, 66, grabbed the woman’s breast and tried to convince her to take off her clothes, then told a police nurse he would ‘murder’ her for reporting him.
He later pleaded guilty to sexual assault and pretended to be wheelchair-bound before being sentenced, forcing the court to make special arrangements for him.
But after forcing barristers to make journeys totalling hundreds of miles, a medical report on the day he was sentenced revealed he did not need the chair.
Yet despite lying to the court and admitting sexual assault, he was still not jailed after appearing via video link before the judge, who lambasted his behaviour.
The court heard how the household odd-job man had used his work to gain the trust of a woman then grabbed her breast from behind while she was at the kitchen sink.
He then tried to persuade her to let him see her naked, grabbed at her and exposed one of her breasts on April 8 2015.
Lyons was arrested and told a police nurse he would ‘murder’ the woman who had reported him.
The nurse reported the threat to officers and Lyons was convicted and dealt with separately for making a threat to kill.
He appeared at The Castle York, near his home in New Earswick, at an earlier hearing and claimed he could not climb the two flights of stairs to the dock.
Forcing staff to make special arrangements, Lyons later pleaded guilty to sexual assault at Leeds Crown Court, which has better disabled access.
The court is 30 miles from his own home, which is on the outskirts of York, where the courthouse is situated inside the grounds of its famous castle.
He was was then sentenced in York, but forced staff to arrange for him to give evidence via video link at Hull Crown Court, 45 miles away from his home.
Barristers for both prosecution and defence were also forced to make the 60 mile trip to Hull from Leeds Crown Court.
But after sentencing, Judge Paul Batty said he would have made him climb the stairs in York had he received the medical reports earlier than the day of sentencing.
Lyons appeared at a number of courts but lied about needing a wheelchair, forcing barristers to make un-necessary journeys all over Yorkshire
Judge Batty, giving him a suspended sentence, said: ‘I want you to be under no illusion, I do not believe, for a moment, you are confined to a wheelchair at all.
‘I have read your doctor’s report which questions your need for a wheelchair and your behaviour has caused all manner of a carry-on.’
Lyons was given a 21-month prison sentence suspended for two years, on condition he does 20 days’ rehabilitative activities.
He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely, barring him from contacting the victim.
Judge Batty added: ‘She was in her own home. She had every right to feel safe. You sexually molested her in the most appalling way.
‘It was deliberate, continuous and went on for a considerable period of time.
‘You have come as close as anyone comes, in these courts, to going immediately to custody.
‘If you breach this order and become a sex pest to this woman again, you will come back before me and I will lock you up.’