A JUDGE has given a hospital order to a man who molested a stranger in the street - then harassed a woman at a solicitors' firm.

Bolton Crown Court was told that Christ Loufoua, 28, was mostly likely suffering from a schitzo-affective disorder when he struck in the town centre.

The Congolese national will now be treated in a low-security unit at Prestwich Hospital after pleading guilty to sexual assault and harassment.

The judge, Recorder Andrew Long, imposing a secure hospital, said the defendant sexually assaulted a woman in Bolton town centre on February 25, when he prodded her in the bottom with a thin metal pole.

Later Loufoua had also "made a nuisance of himself" at a town centre solicitors' office, the court heard.

He made a number of visits to their reception area and could also be found hanging around the bins near their premises, said the judge.

One member of staff complained of ongoing harassment to police but a number of colleagues had also reported being made to feel uncomfortable by the defendant, said prosecutor Adam White.

The receptionist later told police that the experience had made her fearful that she may accidentally bump into Loufoua going to or from work, the court heard.

Laura Broom, defending, said reports by two psychiatrists, who both agreed he qualified for a hospital order, had indicated her client was suffering from delusions at the time.

Loufoua had first arrived in the UK at the age of 10 from Congo and had been the victim of abuse as a child, she added.

"He describes himself as being in a bad place at the time of these offences", said Ms Broom, who also indicated that Loufoua was remorseful for his conduct and wanted to apologise to his victims.

Loufoua, who is formerly of Bridgeman Place, River Street, Bolton, must also sign the sex offenders register for seven years.