Leeds and Bradford Airport security officer jailed for sexual assaults

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A security officer who molested four women while working at Leeds Bradford Airport has been jailed.

A court heard Mark Benson made unwanted sexual advances to female members of staff in locker rooms or other staff areas while they were alone.

Benson, 51, of Highlea Close, Yeadon, Leeds, was jailed for 70 weeks after pleading guilty to seven offences of sexual assault.

Jon Gregg, prosecuting, described how Benson tried to kiss victims, groped them as he was carrying out security checks and tried to put his hands inside their clothing.

One of the victims had to undergo counselling as a result of her ordeal. Benson also tricked two of the victims into giving them their mobile phone numbers before sending them sexually explicit messages.

During one of the offences he told the victim he “knew she wanted it” and said he knew somewhere they could go where there were no cameras.

The woman told Benson he was old enough to be her father and was married but he still persisted.

Mr Gregg said: “Undaunted by that, he unzipped her coat and tried to undo her blouse buttons.

“All the while she was trying to pull his arm away and mentioning his wife.

“He said she would never find out.”

After being arrested, Benson initially denied the offences and claimed the allegations against him were made up.

Tony Kellbrick, mitigating, said: “For reasons he can’t explain he has become hyper-sexualised and he is not willing or able to admit it.”

Mr Kellbrick added: “What I am seeking to do on this defendant’s behalf is suggest that, for some obscure reason that he cannot fully understand or accept is that he suddenly thinks he is God’s gift to the female half of the race and here he is seeking emotional and sexual attention from them.

“He has lost his job, he has lost his wife and he has lost his home. He is on job seekers allowance. In some ways he is the author of his own downfall.”

Judge Penelope Belcher said the offences could only be met with immediate custody as they were too serious to be dealt with by a community-punishment. Benson was also ordered to go on the sex offenders register for ten years.


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