A NETWORK Rail employee has spoken of the "devastating impact" caused to her after being sexually assaulted at work.

Belinda Robinson was made to feel "used and preyed upon" when Julian Tansell, who was her line manager at Evesham signalling box sexually assaulted her in March 2017.

Mrs Robinson, 48 said: "My family have been devastated over this the past three years. I have been in therapy since last February. That is ongoing, I am having therapy for traumatic stress and anxiety. It is in the process of helping me. It was very difficult until we got closure."

British Transport Police helped Mrs Robinson when she reported her assault.

To other woman who have experienced workplace sexual assault, Mrs Robinson said: "I would absolutely say go straight to the police. Don't go through any other process and do it straight away. They were extremely helpful and so supportive."

Tansell, 49, denied the charge at Worcester Magistrates Court where, prosecuting on January 6, Ralph Robyns-Landricombe said: “On Wednesday March 22 the victim was visited by her line manager. Alleged at the time by the victim, he approached her, put out his arms, put them around her shoulders and back and put his face close to her.

"The touching was not consensual. She did not hug the defendant back. He then asked her to sit next to him on the sofa. He shuffled up close to her and said ‘what’s that perfume? You smell good enough to eat.’ He placed his face against her, again the touching was not consensual.”

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The court heard the next day the victim went to work with a recording device to record Tansell, of Bishops Avenue, Worcester.

Mr Robyns-Landricombe said: “He approached her from behind and held her close to him. He nuzzled his face into her and said ‘what do you wear? Cor, I could sniff you all day.’ He continued to make inappropriate sexual innuendos.”

Tansell was given a 12-month community order with 250 hours of unpaid work. He will be placed on the sex offenders register for five years. He was given a restraining order for 12 months and fined £770 in costs, with an £85 victim surcharge and £1,500 in compensation.

Mrs Robinson, who lives in Malvern, said she is happy with the outcome of the case. "I think I'm looking forward to moving on with my life."

The court heard how the incident had affected her self esteem and her ability to socialise. In her statement she said she no longer goes out running, which she use to enjoy doing. She also went a year without wearing her perfume because it reminded her of the incident and she didn't want people to compliment her.

"I'm conscious of how people perceive me so I won't go out and socialise because I don't want to be in a situation where I am talking to someone on my own."

"It has made me feel disgusting and dirty," the statement said.

"I am stressed and exhausted over this. I don't sleep anymore. When I do I have nightmares. This has affected me more than I could imagine."