A former Royal Marine has been found guilty of groping a young female delivery driver who dropped off a package at his plant hire business.

Adam Riva pinned the woman against a wall, tried to kiss her, and touched her inner thigh even though she told him to leave her alone.

Riva, a former marine who was invalided out of the service after his hearing was damaged by a training grenade, has been running a plant hire business in Chivenor Business Park for three years.

The woman was making a delivery on August 1 last year when she was assaulted. She fled from his office after the assault and was visibly upset when she returned to work. She told friends and colleagues what he had done and they persuaded her to go to the police.

The woman had been making deliveries to his firm for months and Riva sent Facebook messages before the incident in which he suggested meeting or starting a relationship but was rebuffed. She told him she was engaged to someone else.

The woman arrived to drop off a delivery at around noon and chatted with Riva in his office before he took her hand and tried to kiss her.

She told a jury at Exeter Crown Court she turned away from his kiss but he asked if he could touch her. She said she said no but he ignored her and ran a hand over her upper leg and touched her inner thigh.

He said he noticed she was no longer wearing an engagement ring and thought she might be interested in 'having some fun with him'. He said he tried to kiss her but stopped when she turned away and there was no further physical contact.

Riva, aged 31, of Coppice Close, Barnstaple, denied sexual assault but was found guilty by the jury.

Judge Peter Johnson adjourned the case for a probation report and he will be sentenced next month.

Mr Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said Riva had started sending messages to the driver before the incident, which occurred when she made a delivery to his depot, where he was on his own.

He said:"He made an advance to her. She hade it quite clear she did not want to engage in such behaviour and that she did not want him to carry on. We say he did carry on and ignored her clear message.

"He ignored her by ultimately rubbing his hand over her hips and her inner thigh. She had given a clear indication she did not want to be touched.

"She did not encourage him, but plainly he is a man who doesn't take no for an answer."

He said he closed the door of his office, asked her to join him on the other side, and pulled her over by her arm. He backed her against a wall and tried to kiss her. She carried on telling him he should not be doing it.

Mr Ticehurst said:"He stopped but asked if he could just touch her. She said no but he did so anyway. He rubbed his hands on her hips and inner thigh. She said 'don't' and walked out of the office."

He said Riva apologised on Facebook and said he wanted her to return so he could apologise in person, but when she did, she realised he did not appreciate the seriousness of what he had done.

Riva told the jury he had tried to kiss the woman but had not groped her. He said the Facebook apology because he was trying to be gentlemanly.

He said the apology was for trying to kiss her and for 'banter and innuendo' which may have upset her. He said: "I was shocked and scared that I was accused of such a horrendous crime as sexual assault."