Undertaker, 83, who fondled a woman's breasts moments before a funeral service faces jail 

  • Charles Ashton, a funeral director, admitted sexually assaulting woman 
  • Pensioner fondled kissed and fondled her breasts before funeral started
  • Leeds Magistrates' Court heard behaviour was 'out of character' for him 
  • Ashton was previously a director of Castleford Rugby League football club 

Charles Ashton, a funeral director, has admitted fondling a woman's breasts before the service

Charles Ashton, a funeral director, has admitted fondling a woman's breasts before the service

An octogenarian funeral director fondled a woman’s breasts minutes before a service, a court heard.

Charles Ashton, 83, could face jail for the assault in which he made a series of inappropriate comments about the woman’s figure before grabbing her.

The incident happened at the family funeral directors business which Ashton runs with his son.

The pensioner, who is a former director and chairman of Castleford Rugby League Football Club, pleaded guilty to sexual assault at Leeds magistrates’ court.

Robert Campbell, prosecuting, told the court: ‘There was a funeral about to take place and they were in a room [together] . . . He put his arm around her, kissed her on two occasions and fondled her breasts.’

Mr Campbell added: ‘He had also made inappropriate remarks about the size of her breasts.’

Stephen Swan, mitigating, asked for sentencing to be adjourned so that a report could be prepared into the circumstances of the case.

He added that the assault was out of character for Ashton.

Mr Swan said: ‘It is entirely out of character for this man who it’s fair to say is devastated about what’s happened. I think it’s a measure of him that he is so upset about what’s happened.’

Before leaving the hearing last week Ashton, of Castleford, West Yorkshire, told magistrates: ‘I am sorry to have troubled you.’

They warned that he could face jail for the offence.

Earlier this year an undertaker who poured flour over a neighbour’s Mercedes for blocking in his hearse was jailed.

Funeral director Julian Riley, 39, and Peter Elliot, 60, had argued for weeks over parking spaces after property developer Elliot bought a house opposite Riley’s business, a court heard.

In September 2013 Riley was caught on CCTV emptying a 2lb bag of self-raising flour over Mr Elliot’s black Mercedes E-320. A court heard it set ‘like cement’ in the rain and removing it scratched the car’s paint. Police arrested Riley after following a line of white powder.

The incident was said to be out of character for 83-year-old Ashton who could face jail for the sexual assault 

The incident was said to be out of character for 83-year-old Ashton who could face jail for the sexual assault