Express & Star

Oldbury hotel's owner admits sex assaults on staff

The owner of a hotel in the Black Country has admitted sexually assaulting female members of his own staff.


Santokh Mahal, aged 64, who owns The Ramada Birmingham Oldbury, in Oldbury, pleaded guilty at Sandwell Magistrates Court to six charges of sexual touching without consent.

The charges relate to incidents involving four different women, at the hotel in Wolverhampton Road from March to October last year.

Mr Kulbir Paul, prosecuting, said: "This man is the owner of Ramada Hotel in Oldbury.

"Over a period of time he has either hugged, kissed and touched the bottoms of the members of staff against their will."

Mahal, who was dressed in a suit and accompanied by two men during the hearing, spoke through an interpreter to plead guilty to the charges.

Three similar charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service at the court hearing yesterday.

Chairman of the bench Mr Ian Collett adjourned the case for sentencing at the same court on May 24.

He warned Mahal that the case could still be sent to crown court if the magistrates' sentencing powers were not deemed sufficient.

Mahal, of Finchfield Road West, Finchfield, Wolverhampton, was granted bail by he court.

But he was made subject to certain conditions, including that he does not contact any of his victims or visit the hotel premises.

His son has temporarily taken over the running of the hotel.

The 81-bedroom hotel and conference centre was purchased last May after the previous owners, Fortmere Group, went into administration. Last July, the hotel said it had 28 employees.

The hotel opened in June 2008 and also includes a restaurant and four function rooms.

In November, it received planning permission from Sandwell Council to build a new gym and leisure area.

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