A PREDATOR who followed two 16-year-olds in the dark — before sexually assaulting one and physically attacking the other — has been jailed for two years.

Costel-Georgica Murgulet, 33, appeared at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on Friday and admitted sexual assault, assault by beating and outraging public decency.

Prosecutor Rose Burns said: "On Friday, August 2, at around 10pm, the defendant attended Fever nightclub in Newport alone, where he began behaving quite badly towards a group of girls who made complaints about him.

"He was staring at them and kept attempting to pull them over to him, dressed as he was in a distinctive all-red two-piece suit and red fedora.

"After bouncers threw him out of the club he refused to go away and made his way towards the junction of Pyle Street, where exposed himself."

Murgulet ran away before the police arrived, but appeared again at 12.40am on Godric Road, Newport, where two 16-year-old girls were walking home.

Ms Burns said: "He crouched in the bushes by the side of the road. As the girls walked past they saw him and began to walk faster.

"As they looked behind and saw he was following them, they ran.

"As the two girls ran from him one unfortunately suffered an asthma attack forcing them to stop.

"As Murgulet approached them they pleaded with him not to hurt them but he placed his finger to his lips, as in telling them to be quiet.

"He grabbed one of the girls by the hair and began trying to force his tongue into her mouth.

"As he did so the other girl attempted to pull him away from her friend, so Murgulet pushed her to the ground by her throat.

"He returned his attention to the first girl, pushing her against a fence, before the second girl again physically forced him away as he grabbed her by the throat again. "One of the girls screamed that they were going to run to the nearby homes for help, knowing full well they were show homes and there would be no one in them.

"As she pulled out her phone, Murgulet smashed it to the ground and ran away into the night."

A victim personal statement was read to the court, from the mother of the girl who was sexually assaulted.

She said: "My daughter has been a complete state. She always makes sure every single door and window is locked now.

"At the slightest noise, she becomes afraid there is someone in the house.

"She can't cope with going out anymore, and if she sees someone walking with a hood up or looking at her she just begins to cry."

Murgulet had previously received two convictions for theft in Romania, where he received a two-year custodial sentence.

Murgulet's defence, Graham Gilbert, said: "He was a bricklayer back home where he has a wife and seven kids that depend on the money he sends home to them.

"He says he does not remember what happened that night but after it was explained to him he quite graphically expressed remorse."

Judge Ian Hughes gave Murgulet a two-year custodial sentence.

He was also placed on Sex Offenders' Register.

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