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Teenager Krupesh Lauchande, who was convicted of sexual assault, given community sentence after appeal
A teenager who left a young woman traumatised after ambushing and groping her as she left hospital has been freed on appeal by judges.
Krupesh Lauchande, 18, was one of five youths who cornered their lone victim as she approached an underpass near Harrow's Northwick Park Hospital, said Mr Justice Openshaw.
The gang surrounded the terrified woman and made jeering comments, London's Appeal Court heard, telling her: "You're beautiful - give us a hug".
Once she was at their mercy, Lauchande and another youth took hold of her breasts over her clothes and squeezed them.
"They took it in turns to do so," said the judge, who added: "She felt as if the whole incident lasted up to three minutes".
Lauchande, of Bowrons Avenue, Wembley, was jailed for six months at Harrow Crown Court on June 28 after he was convicted of sexual assault. The victim was left "distressed and humiliated", the court heard.
The judge who sentenced Lauchande noted that he was just 17 when he molested the woman, but said she had been "badly affected".
"He described Lauchande and the others' behaviour as outrageous and brazen," said Mr Justice Openshaw.
But Lauchande's legal team claimed the six-month term took insufficient account of his youth and previous good character.
He was studying at university before his case came to court and had been too ashamed to tell his own family that he was on trial for a sex offence.
Mr Justice Openshaw, sitting with Lord Justice Jackson and Mr Justice Leggatt, accepted the traumatic effect of the attack on Lauchande's victim, who was "humiliated" after being accosted by a "threatening group of young men".
But he concluded the six-month term was excessive in light of Lauchande's youth, substituting a community punishment order with 100 hours of unpaid work.
The judge's ruling means that Lauchande is now free - having been behind bars for just over a month.
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