Jack Straw's brother found guilty of indecent assault on girl, 16

The brother of the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, was convicted yesterday of indecently assaulting a friend's 16-year-old daughter after inviting himself to her house.

The brother of the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, was convicted yesterday of indecently assaulting a friend's 16-year-old daughter after inviting himself to her house.

William Straw, an Open University administrator, had pleaded not guilty at Nottingham magistrates' court to assaulting the girl in April when she was alone at her home in the city.

But after hearing evidence from the girl that Mr Straw asked to see her bedroom before rubbing his hands on her hips, the district judge, Peter Nuttall, found him guilty and fined him £750 plus £275 in court costs. Straw will be placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

The conviction is a further embarrassment to the Home Secretary who is overseeing a government crackdown on sex offenders. In December 1997, Jack Straw's son, also called William, was cautioned by police after he sold cannabis to an undercover reporter while aged 17. In July, the Home Secretary's chauffeur-driven car was stopped by Avon and Somerset police doing an alleged 103mph.

The court was told yesterday that Straw, 47, had bumped into the girl while she was out shopping on 19 April. He asked her to go to his home to see his new dog. The girl declined saying she had to do GCSE revision, but Straw later telephoned to repeat the offer before riding round to her home on his bike.

Straw, who has two children but is separated from his wife, then invited himself in, the girl told the court. She said: "I had not asked him to come in, I felt worried and nervous but I offered him a cup of tea because he is a friend of the family."

She said Straw started a conversation and at one point touched her stomach. He then asked to see her bedroom and sat on the bed, saying how soft it was. As they left the room, the teenager said Straw turned and put his hands on her hips.

She told the court: "He started rubbing my hips and staring at my breasts. I told him he was scaring me and he seemed to snap out of a trance." Straw apologised and left.

Giving evidence, Straw said he agreed with the majority of what the girl said had happened, but denied touching her. He said he had been feeling low and was reaching out to a friendly face.

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