A predator who sexually assaulted a teenage girl on a train then told police he thought she was a prostitute has been jailed.
Elemir Bandy, 61, from Stoke on Trent, targeted a 17-year-old girl on a train between Coventry and Birmingham.
Birmingham Magistrates Court was told he approached his victim as she waited on a platform just after 11am on 3 April this year.
Bandy attempted to make conversation, but the girl dismissed him and walked away.
They both boarded the train to Birmingham New Street and Bandy continued to talk to her and gave her £20 to get a drink.
On the train Bandy then rubbed himself against the girl making her touch him intimately, before kissing her on the face.
He then sexually assaulted her by digital penetration.
The girl was left with marks on her neck from the assault.
Two passengers on the train interrupted the attack after seeing how uncomfortable the young woman was.
One asked, "are you okay?" and “has he done anything to you”. The victim replied, "yes".
Rail staff were notified by the witnesses and it was reported to the British Transport Police.
Bandy was immediately arrested by officers on the platform at Birmingham International station.
In his first police interview he stated he thought she was a prostitute and that is why he gave her the money, however during his second interview he declared, “I admit everything”.
Bandy pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration and three counts of sexual assault, and has been jailed him for 12 years, comprising of a six-year custodial term and an extension period of six years.
He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, barred and disqualified from working with children and adults, and given a sexual harm prevention order for 12 years.
Detective Sergeant Mike LeConte said: "This has been an incredible case of teamwork, from the bravery of the two bystanders who intervened and offered key evidence to the dedicated work of officers who quickly secured evidence to ensure Bandy was charged and remanded the day after the incident.
"My thoughts go to the victim, her bravery in coming forward was crucial in the case and has led to this predator removed from the community.
“Sexual offences are a key priority for us at BTP, everyone has the right to travel in safety and without fear.
“I urge anyone who experiences or witnesses a sexual offence on the railway to report it to us by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40. We will always take your report seriously and put offenders before the courts."