Girl, 16, ‘terrified and disgusted’ after 56-year-old man slapped her bum in Pret a Manger

“The whole incident made me feel really uncomfortable and disgusted. I did not give this male any consent to touch me. I’m terrified this might happen again.”

A 16-year-old girl who was slapped across the buttocks by a man with mental health issues in a west London Pret a Manger has told how the incident left her “terrified” and “disgusted”.

Dominic Curno “slapped a 16-year-old female on the buttocks” as he left the Fulham Broadway branch of the chain coffee shop, on December 22, 2021, a court heard.

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Police were alerted by security when he returned to the same cafe the following day, and he was arrested and charged.

A teenage girl was sexually assaulted in a branch of the coffee shop Pret A Manger. Photo: Getty

Curno, 56, of John Smith Avenue, Hammersmith, London, was convicted of “intentionally touch[ing] a woman aged 16 or over and that touching was sexual when she did not consent and you did not reasonably believe that she was consenting”, on April 28, 2022.

In a victim impact statement, the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “The whole incident made me feel really uncomfortable and disgusted.

“I was very upset after it happened. I did not give this male any consent to touch me. I’m terrified this might happen again.”

Speaking at Curno’s sentencing hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this morning Tom Heslop, prosecuting, said: “On December 22, 2021, he slapped a16-year-old female on the buttocks as he left Pret a Manger.

“Security guards approached and reported the man to the police. He returned on December 23 and security called the police and he was arrested.

“He made full admissions during the course of his police interview. He has a number of convictions, 16 in total.

“It is aggravated by the fact of the age of the victim.”

A teenage girl was sexually assaulted in a branch of the coffee shop Pret A Manger. Photo: Getty

But his defence solicitor, Stuart Miller, said his client “leads a quiet life” and was “isolated” and not currently accessing support for his mental health issues.

“It’s clear my client finds life very difficult and I do wonder what level of comprehension my client actually has or memory of it,” he told the court.

“He’s not been able to engage with me today. His step parents are in the back of the court. He required their assistance to get to the appointment with the probation officer.

“Generally he leads a quiet life. He’s not able to get around London. He doesn’t use a computer. He’s quite isolated.

“I’m hopeful that he can reengage with mental health services in due course because at the moment that seems to be limited.”

Magistrate Nathalie Laniado said: “It’s a very tricky case because clearly you’re not taking your medication and you’re not engaging with mental health and that makes things more complicated for us.

“This was a very serious offence. You heard how the victim - a 16-year-old girl - is very upset and frightened by it.”

Westminster Magistrates Court in central London. Photo: Getty

She sentenced Curno to a 12-month community order with 20 days of required rehabilitation.

“We ask that probation consider the mental health issues Mr Curno suffers from and provide access to some mental health support as part of his time with probation,” she said.

And to Curno, she added: “We recognise it is very difficult for you to engage. We encourage you to try your very best to engage because it will only help you.”

He must also pay £100 compensation to the victim within three months, but no victim surcharge or costs were imposed.

Curno must also comply with an annual notification requirement for five years, due to the nature of the sexual offence, and inform the police every year of his name and address.

He must also inform the force of: his date of birth; National Insurance number; bank account, credit and debit card details; passport and ID details; his main address and any other address he spends more than seven days a year at; and any intention to travel abroad.

Ms Laniado said: “Because of the nature of this offence there’s a requirement for you to notify the authorities because this is a sexual offence.”

She added: “Every 12 months you have to go to the police and confirm these details even if they’re exactly the same.

“If you do not give the details to the police on time you could go to prison.

“And if you breach the community order or if you don’t attend the probation appointments, you will be brought back to court.”