Airport security officer jailed for sexual assaults

Leeds Crown Court

Leeds Crown Court

First published in News by

A "HYPER-SEXUALISED" security officer who molested four women while working at Leeds Bradford Airport has been jailed.

Married Mark Benson, 51, tried to grope and kiss female members of staff while carrying out security checks at the airport.

Leeds Crown Court also heard how Benson, of Highlea Close, Yeadon, made unwanted sexual advances to staff members in locker rooms or other areas while they were alone.

He was jailed for 70 weeks on Monday after pleading guilty to seven offences of sexual assault.

Jon Gregg, prosecuting, said Benson had also sent sexually explicit messages to two of his victims after tricking them into giving their mobile phone numbers.

He had told one of the women he "knew she wanted it" and suggested going somewhere where there were no security cameras.

He persisted even after she told him he was old enough to be her father, and married.

Mr Gregg said: “Undaunted by that, he unzipped her coat and tried to undo her blouse buttons.

“All the while she was trying to pull his arm away and mentioning his wife.

“He said she would never find out."

The court heard that one of Benson's victims had to have counselling due to her ordeal.

He had initially denied the offences after being arrested, claiming the allegations were fabricated.

Tony Kellbrick, defending, said: “For reasons he can’t explain he has become hyper-sexualised and he is not willing or able to admit it.

"What I am seeking to do on this defendant's behalf is suggest that, for some obscure reason that he cannot fully understand or accept, is that he suddenly thinks he is God’s gift to the female half of the race and here he is seeking emotional and sexual attention from them.

“He has lost his job, he has lost his wife and he has lost his home. He is on Jobseeker's Allowance.

"In some ways he is the author of his own downfall."

Judge Penelope Belcher said the gravity of the offences meant they had to result in immediate custody. Benson was also ordered to go on the sex offenders register for ten years.

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