A PENSIONER has admitted putting his hand up the skirt of woman who could not consent because of her mental state.

Stephen Pilgrim was found to be touching her inappropriately twice on New Year’s Eve last year.

The 71-year-old admitted two counts of sexual activity with a mentally disordered female when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates decided the case was too serious for them to deal with due to the limits on their sentencing powers.

Rima Begum, prosecuting, said: “I would urge you to commit this case to the crown court.

“He was found on two separate occasions to have his hands up the victim’s skirt.

“It is said to have caused her distress on both occasions.

“His DNA was found on her underwear and her DNA was found underneath his fingernails.”

The incident happened in the Manningtree area.

Jennifer Scarpenter, mitigating for Pilgrim, asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared before Pilgrim appears at Chelmsford Crown Court next month.

She said Pilgrim, of Harwich Road, Bradfield, was suffering from a variety of physical conditions and was awaiting a formal diagnosis in relation to his mental health.

He has no previous convictions.

Magistrates handed Pilgrim bail until the next hearing, scheduled for November 18.

He must not contact the victim nor visit her address.

The bench warned Pilgrim that he could be brought back to court if he breaches these conditions and any other offences he commits may be treated more seriously.

He is now subject to interim notification requirements after admitting two sexual offences meaning he must report to Colchester Police Station on a regular basis.