Pub landlord jailed for groping barmaids

Tuesday 24th May 2022 11:21 am
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JAILED: Pub landlord Peter Hayball.

Image: Police
JAILED: Pub landlord Peter Hayball. (Police )

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A PUB landlord has been jailed for groping the breasts of three barmaids as he tried to stuff their wages down their cleavage.

Peter Hayball took advantage of his position as boss of a pub in Devon to abuse the three female members of staff as he was paying them after they finished late shifts.

The women were so shocked by his behaviour that they stopped working at the pub and refused to accompany Hayball when he was running outside bars in Somerset, Cornwall, East Devon and Teignbridge.

They told a trial at Exeter Crown Court earlier this year how 56-year-old Hayball leered at their breasts and engaged them in smutty Carry On style sexual banter.

They wrote victim impact statements in which they told of the stress and anxiety they suffered as a result of the assaults.

One said: ‘I lost my job because I could not bear to put up with his treatment.

‘I will never work in a bar again because I don’t trust anyone. He was in a position of power and control which he well and truly abused.’

Hayball, of Crossways, South Chard, Somerset, was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault against three different former employees.

He was cleared of ten other sexual assaults, either on the same victims or a fourth, who alleged he molested her while they were running an outside bar at a village hall near Taunton.

Hayball was jailed for a total of 18 months by Recorder Mr Christopher Quinlan, QC, who also put him on the sex offenders register for ten years.

He told him: ‘You took advantage of your position as an employer.

‘If you did not create situations in which you were alone with the women, you waited for an opportunity and took advantage of it.

‘You were in a position of authority and they were in a situation in which they were entitled to feel safe in their place of work.’

During the trial in March, the barmaids all told how Hayball had pulled open their tops and tried to put their wages into their cleavage, touching the breast of at least one and being fended off by another.

Hayball told the jury that banter and Carry-On humour had been mistaken for sexual advances.

He said the incidents had been misunderstandings.

He said: ‘I never did it.

‘I never tried to put my hand down their tops. I did not touch or grope them. I have not sexually assaulted any of them. None at all, no.

‘I am a gentleman and I am respectful to other people’s personal space.’

Miss Emily Cook, defending, said Hayball was willing to attend a probation run Maps for Change course and could be punished by unpaid community work rather than jail.

She said he no longer runs the pub and his continuing outside catering business has been affected badly by publicity about his trial.

He is a carer for his 80-year-old father.

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