A Haverhill man who sexually assaulted a young woman as she slept has been jailed.
Jason Franklin, 22, struck at an address in the town during the early hours of May 16 last year.
On Friday, Ipswich Crown Court heard how the victim, who had been out with friends drinking in Haverhill and was staying at a temporary address, woke up at about 5am, realised that she was not alone in her bed and was being sexually assaulted.
Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, said: “She froze because she couldn’t believe the sensation she was feeling. She describes herself as petrified and not wanting to open her eyes.”
Mr Thompson said that initially the woman did not know who was touching her.
He said: “She then heard someone get out of her bed. At that point she sat up and saw Mr Franklin with the duvet lifted up.”
When challenged, Franklin told her that he “was lonely”, before he walked out, leaving the woman feeling scared.
In a statement, the woman said the incident had left her feeling withdrawn and isolated and she was now considering moving away from the area.
The court heard that following his arrest, Franklin was interviewed by police and initially denied the assault but later pleaded guilty to an offence of sexual assault.
Franklin was confirmed as the attacker through DNA evidence, said Mr Thompson.
Appearing for Franklin, Paul Donegan said his client had pleaded guilty at the earlier possible stage and had no previous convictions.
A report prepared by the Probation Service said that Franklin was immature, lacking confidence, misinterpreted situations and had difficulty in forming relationships, said Mr Donegan.
Jailing him for 32 months, Judge John Devaux told Franklin: “You took advantage of her intoxicated state, leaving not only DNA evidence but some small bruises.”
The victim had been badly affected by the incident and was now receiving counselling, said Judge Devaux.
Franklin was ordered to sign on the Sexual Offences Register indefinitely. Judge Devaux granted a restraining order banning Franklin from having any contact with his victim.