A DRUNKEN man who sexually assaulted a healthcare professional and became racially aggressive has been spared prison.

Malcolm Lesley, of Leed Street, Sandown, was injured when he fell down the steps of a double decker bus in June last year.

Tom Horder, prosecuting, said the 60 year old was under the influence of alcohol and behaving in a 'lairy' manner throughout the incident.

During his treatment, Lesley grabbed the victim's buttocks. The victim, trying to diffuse the situation, said: "You get that one for free but don't touch me again."

The defendant then started stroking her arm, moved closer and grabbed her breast, the court heard.

Mr Horder said Lesley also became racially aggressive.

For Lesley, Helen Easterbrook said the defendant was truly sorry for his actions and said he could not remember the incident.

At sentencing, Judge Roger Hetherington described the offence as "disgraceful" and very distressing for the victim.

Lesley was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, 25 days of rehabilitation activities and will be put on the sex offenders list.