Security guard jailed for groping girls’ bottoms at funfair

Long was ‘the very person that the victims in this case should have been able to turn to’, a judge said (Pictures: Liverpool Echo)

A security guard has been jailed for groping two teenage girls at a funfair.

Paul Long, 61, trapped a girl on a Waltzer ride and slapped the bottom of another while he gave her first aid.

The girls, aged 14 and 15, were put through the ordeal of reliving the attacks as they gave evidence at Liverpool Crown Court where Long was convicted of two counts of sexual assault.

One of the girls had cut her foot after getting off a ride and went to see Long, who was working in security at the funfair in Birkenhead Road in Seacombe in March 2019.

He helped her put a plaster on the wound before slapping her bottom and laughing, the court heard.

The girl walked back to her group of friends and he followed her, stopping when she looked at him.

The second girl went on the Waltzers with her male cousin, but when they sat down in a car, Long got in and sat between them.

The court heard the girl felt ‘uncomfortable’ and wanted to get off, but he wouldn’t let her and the ride started.

Paul Long, then 56, outside court in 2016 when he admitted causing death by careless driving (Picture: Liverpool Echo)
Long was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault and jailed for eight months (Picture: Liverpool Echo)

When he found out she was 14, Long ‘expressed surprise and said he would kiss her if she were older,’ Judge Brian Cummings QC said.

Long, of Woodchurch, Birkenhead, also held a safety bar down ‘to prevent her getting away’ but the two children managed to squeeze out and run off.

The girl’s dad then rushed to the fairground and Long squared up to him. The judge said Long was fortunate not to face a separate charge over the ‘physical confrontation’, but it was an aggravating feature.

The court heard he has 10 previous convictions for 13 offences, including causing death by careless driving.

Judge Cummings said there was a ‘breach of trust’ as Long’s job was to ensure the safety of visitors to the fair.

He said he was ‘the very person that the victims in this case should have been able to turn to if sexually assaulted in the fairground, not the person committing these assaults’.

He jailed Long for eight months, who looked at his girlfriend in the public gallery and shook his head.

Long must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

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