A former newsagent who was “overfamiliar” with two customers and kissed them and slapped one on the bottom has been fined £500.

Sentencing 42-year-old Mangesh Dev, Judge David Pugh, said his behaviour had had "devastating" consequences for him and had resulted in him being forced to sell his business.

Dev, of Henry Everett Grove, Colchester, had denied two offences of sexual assault dating back to 2021 but at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday pleaded guilty to two lesser offences of battery.

He was fined £250 for each offence and ordered to pay £500 in costs.

Brian Reece, prosecuting, said that at the time of the offences in August and September 2021 Dev had owned Claydons newsagents in High Street, Colchester.

The first incident in August 2021 related to a customer in her mid 20s. Dev had started dancing with her in the shop and he had then tried to kiss her on the mouth.

She turned away and the kiss landed on her cheek, and as she left the shop Dev had smacked her on the bottom so hard that it caused her pain.

The second incident, which happened in September 2021, involved a 16-year-old girl who was also a regular customer at the shop.

Dev had come out from behind the counter and hugged her and had then asked her for a kiss, said Mr Reece.

He had kissed her on the mouth and then asked for “a better kiss”.

Sarah Forshaw, for Dev, said her client had been a popular and highly successful businessman and was a former soldier who had served in Afghanistan.

She said as a result of becoming "overfamiliar" with regular customers and the charges that followed, Dev had been unable to extend his shop licence and had to sell his business at a loss.

He and his wife were now divorced and he had been seeing a psychiatrist.