Jailed: Ludlow man, 29, sexually assaulted sleeping woman

A 29-year-old man Ludlow who sexually assaulted a woman after they had been drinking together has been jailed.

James Sandiford was said to have committed the offence when the victim fell asleep on a sofa at her home.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday Sandiford was jailed for 18 months.

Judge Jim Tindal said the defendant had not accepted full responsibility for what he had done.

“You took advantage of the victim when she was in an inebriated state to commit this offence,” he said.

He told Sanidford the woman was vulnerable because she was asleep and he had persisted in lying about there being earlier consensual sexual activity.

Sandiford, of Middleton, Ludlow, had initially denied a charge of attempted rape, but on the day of his trial had pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault. The plea was accepted by the prosecution and Judge Tindal recorded a formal not guilty verdict on the attempted rape allegation.

The court heard Sandiford had received a caution in 2010 following an incident when he committed a sex act in front of a woman in her bedroom.

Mr Jonathan Dickinson, prosecuting, said the sexual assault happened in January last year after the victim and the defendant had been drinking. He said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had fallen asleep and had woken to see the defendant right in front of her.

Mr Dickinson said the defendant was pulling at her trousers and he was naked below the waist.

Mrs Debra White, for Sandiford, said her client had a problem dealing with the boundaries.

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