Braintree man avoids jail after sexually assaulting drunk woman on sofa
- Credit: Gregg Brown
An Essex man who sexually assaulted a drunk woman while she was asleep on a sofa after a night out has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight to prison.
The woman, who was described as “eight out of ten drunk”, woke up to find Luke Reeves touching her intimately and immediately got up and left the room with a blanket wrapped round her, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
She went upstairs and told a friend what had happened and was described as “shocked and crying”.
Reeves was asked to leave the house in Saxon Bank, Braintree, and later sent a friend a text accusing the victim of being “a little girl crying wolf,” said Nicola May, prosecuting.
She said that in an impact statement the victim, who is in her twenties, described being left feeling “violated and disgusted” after the incident.
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When Reeves was arrested two days after the incident he answered no comment to questions put to him by police officers.
Reeves, 27, of Keyes Way, Braintree, admitted assaulting a woman by digital penetration on February 21 last year.
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He was given a two year prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to take part in a 60 day accredited programme and a 30 day rehabilitation order.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
Sentencing him Judge David Goodin accused Reeves of taking advantage of a vulnerable woman.
“You should have been protecting her instead of mauling her in an invasive way,” said the judge.
Marc Brown, representing Reeves, said his client didn’t remember the details of the offence which happened after he had been drinking and using drugs.
He said the offence was “wholly out of character” and was a one-off episode which happened in the context of the breakdown of a relationship and his inability to deal with it.
Mr Brown said Reeves recognised that drink and drugs had put him in a position he wouldn’t otherwise have got in and since the offence he had stopped drinking and taking drugs.
He said Reeves was now in a new relationship and his partner was aware of the court proceedings