Sex attacker assaulted Derbyshire woman in her own bed

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A 22-year-old sex attacker who assaulted his victim in her own bed in Derbyshire has been jailed for four years.

Derby Crown Court heard how Ashley Cooper sexually touched his victim after she had fallen asleep following a night out.

Clive Stockwell, prosecuting, said the woman woke up to find him molesting her so she grabbed a bowl and smashed it over his head.

She then punched him twice and screamed at him before calling her partner to tell him what had happened.

He, in turn, called the police and Cooper was arrested and questioned over the sexual assault, with him initially answering “no comment”.

But after being charged he pleaded guilty to five separate counts of sexual assault on the woman, whose identity is protected by law.

Mr Stockwell said: “In her victim personal statement, she says she was already suffering from anxiety when this happened to her and since it did she has trouble sleeping and has a real problem trusting people. She says this has also affected her relationship with her partner

Jailing Cooper, Judge Robert Egbuna said he “must have known” the victim had been “under the effects of alcohol” when he sexually assaulted her.

He said: “It must have been extremely traumatic. The five offences are the result of a sustained attack and you knew she had been consuming alcohol when you carried out the assault.

“But it is very rare that the courts have someone in front of them accepting their involvement.

“Some defendants suggest that the victim consented in the act and make them go through the misery and fear of giving evidence where they have to attend court and be cross-examined by barristers about their private lives.

“By pleading guilty to your offences you have saved the complainant a lot of distress.”

Mr Stockwell said the attack took place at the victim’s Derbyshire house in the early hours of October 24, 2015.

He said: “The complainant said she woke to feel herself being touched, she said she felt the defendant pulling at her breasts. She grabbed a bowl and smashed it in his face, asking him what he was doing.

“She then punched him to the face twice and he got out of the bed and she threw his clothes at him and screamed at him to get out.”

Stephen Gosnall, for Cooper, of Claylands Lane, Worksop, said his client had no previous convictions of any sort.

He said: “He fully accepts responsibility for what he did and that is the appropriate attitude to take.“He has the support of his family who are appalled at what has happened and cannot understand why he has done it.”