A physiotherapist who sexually assaulted a woman in Cheshire has been jailed.

Richard Hughes was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Chester Crown Court.

The 54-year-old of Crewe Road, Willaston, had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault.

The court heard how at about 12pm on Monday, August 21, the victim, a 70-year-old woman, had attended an appointment with Hughes in Willaston for help with her back problems.

During her appointment, Hughes sexually assaulted the victim three times as she lay face down on a treatment table.

The victim got up from the table and challenged Hughes before fleeing the clinic.

She then called 999 and reported Hughes to police.

Officers attended the clinic that day and arrested Hughes on suspicion of sexual assault.

In addition to his 12-month prison sentence, Hughes was handed a lifetime restraining order and ordered to sign the sex offender’s registrar for 10 years.

He was also subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years.

Following the sentencing Detective Sergeant Rob Bushell, of Crewe CID, said: “The victim was seeking treatment for her back problems and put her trust in Hughes to help but instead, she was subject to a terrifying ordeal.

“Hughes held no regard for how his actions would impact the victim and took advantage of her while she was in a vulnerable position, all for his own perverse sexual gratification.

“I hope that the sentence handed to Hughes provides some closure to the victim, who has shown an incredible amount of bravery throughout this investigation.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to encourage anyone who may have also been a victim of sexual assault to please get in touch.

“We continue to do all we can to tackle any incident of violence against women and take all reports of such crimes extremely seriously and will investigate thoroughly to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”

To report any sexual offence call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or visit the website.

Information can also be passed anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.