A young woman who faced jail after slapping a man’s bottom on a night out was today cleared of sexual assault charges.
Beauty therapist Scarlett Bareham, 20, of Bedhampton, Hants, had been accused of sexually assaulting the clubber in front of his girlfriend while out partying in Portsmouth last summer.
But that charge against Ms Bareham, which she had always strenuously denied, was dropped after prosecutors admitted there was not enough CCTV evidence of the alleged offence.
Instead, she admitted to affray for her role in the ‘unattractive’ punch-up that swiftly followed.
The trained beauty and massage therapist now faces 100 hours of community service and must pay her victim, Mark Palmer, £150.
Beauty therapist Scarlett Bareham, 20, of Bedhampton, Hants, had been accused of sexually assaulting the clubber by smacking his behind in front of his girlfriend while out partying
Ms Bareham slapped a man’s bottom in the Guildhall Walk area of Portsmouth late last summer, which is home to a number of nightclubs
The teenager had been clubbing with friends Hannah Phillips, 20 and Fiona Hoyle, 19, in the Guildhall Walk area of Portsmouth late last summer, which is home to a number of nightclubs.
Prosecution barrister Beverley Cherrill told the court the incident was sparked after friend Hannah Phillips ‘smacked the bottom’ of a woman leading to ‘giggling’ from the females.
The prosecutor said contact was also made with a man’s bottom – prompting a female friend of the man to intervene.
‘She said not to slap his bottom because his girlfriend was around and she would not like it,’ Ms Cherrill said.
Ms Cherrill added: ‘Members of the public were trying to intervene including (a male) complainant who sought to interact with Ms Bareham. For his trouble he was kicked in the ankle by her and sustained a graze.
‘Other people would have feared for their safety as it was a fast-moving incident. There were punches and kicks being thrown by various people and Ms Bareham was one of them.’
Fern Russell, defending, said Bareham, was on the ‘periphery’ of the incident after only getting involved after ‘seeing something happen’.
The lawyer said of Bareham’s involvement: ‘It was out of character.’
Bareham admitted to being drunk when she left a nightclub in May 2020, becoming more ‘aggressive’ as she was confronted outside by a woman who lectured the trio for smacking the man’s bottom in front of his girlfriend.
Portsmouth Crown Court today heard that in the brawl that then took place, Bareham attacked another nightclubber, Mark Palmer, who had got involved in the tussle, kicking him and throwing a punch at his head.
Prosecution barrister Beverley Cherrill told the court: ‘Mr Palmer was kicked in the ankle and she aimed a punch at his face. He did suffer some light bruising to the temple area. Other people would have feared for their safety.’
Bareham today pleaded guilty to one count of affray. However, the sexual assault charge was dropped by Ms Cherrill as there was insufficient CCTV evidence and it was deemed ‘not in the public interest’.
The trained beauty and massage therapist from Havants, Hants, now faces 100 hours of community service and must pay Mr Palmer £150.
Judge William Mousley QC today said she should be ‘thoroughly embarrassed’ for attempting to punch and kick Mr Palmer in the ankle.
Sentencing her, Judge Mousley added: ‘You played a fairly prominent part in the indiscriminate violence. You simply did not care about who you made contact with.’
‘You have pleaded guilty to the offence of affray,’ he said. ‘You are entitled to significant credit for pleading guilty but not full credit. This was a pretty unattractive spectacle.
Pictured: Scarlett Bareham (middle) is hugged by two family members as she leaves Portsmouth Crown Court today after avoiding jail for slapping a man’s bottom
‘You were drunk, you should be thoroughly embarrassed about the way that you behaved that night.
‘You must apologise to the people who witnessed what was going on, in particular Mr Palmer.
‘You were one of several people becoming aggressive, you kicked out at him and threw a punch at him an he suffered minor bruising as a result of some of your actions.
‘You have been out of trouble since then – it may show that you have learned your lesson about how to make your way home from nightclubs.
‘I do not expect to see you again.’
Miss Phillips, 20, who had initially been accused of sexual assault for slapping the man’s bottom walked free last month after she accepted a conditional caution for the incident.
Miss Hoyle, 19, of Southsea, Hants, pleaded not guilty to affray and is on unconditional bail until her trial which will commence in March next year.