10:42am Thursday 8th August 2013
A 64-year-old man carried out a string of terrifying sex attacks on women at the Ramada Hotel in Oldbury, a court was told.
Santokh Mahal left one of his four victims fearing she would be raped and afterwards she told police she had "never been so scared in her life".
Mahal, whose son is the owner of the 81-bedroom Wolverhampton Road hotel, was told by Judge Amjad Nawaz the attacks had a serious impact on the women who were aged between 18 and 47.
This was a "persistent course of conduct," said the judge, at a time when Mahal was "effectively overseeing the day to day running of the hotel", between March and October 2012.
He said he accepted Mahal, of previous good character, had been a hard working man who had established himself in the business world and become wealthy, but they were serious offences against women who were harassed and humiliated.
Mahal, of Finchfield Road, Wolverhampton, admitted six charges of sexual assault and sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years.
He was also placed on supervision for two years with a condition he attends the sex offenders programme and told he must register as a sex offender for the next seven years.
Tarlowchan Dubb, defending, said Mahal, who was also ordered to pay £500 costs, accepted they were "dreadful " offences but stressed it was touching over clothing.
He said Mahal was held in high esteem within the community and his admission to the crimes had been a "brave thing to do" adding: "He is full of genuine remorse for what he did."
Mr Dubb said Mahal who came to England in 1968 had owned a number of shops before his family moved into the hotel trade by taking over the Ramada.
At the time of the offences, he went on, there was some financial pressure within the family while Mahal also had a number of major health problems.
Mahal, who has five children and 11 grandchildren, wiped away a tear as the judge ruled it was in the interests of the public for him to receive assistance rather than spend a short time in custody.
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