Man sexually assaulted woman on sofa as his girlfriend slept upstairs

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A Suffolk man accused of sexually assaulting a woman after they “crashed out” on a sofa following a night out has been convicted by a jury.

Following his arrest, Thomas Lewis said he had been attracted to the woman and had started massaging her after waking up on a sofa alongside her.

Lewis told officers the woman responded by moving towards him after he touched her bottom and he was sure she was awake.

He said that when he touched her between the legs she had grabbed his hand and moved it away and he had stopped what he was doing.

"I realised what I was doing was wrong as my girlfriend was upstairs," he said.

Lewis, 28, of School Avenue, Elmswell denied assaulting the woman by penetration in June 2017 and was found guilty after a four-day trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

Sentencing was adjourned until the week commencing February 24 for a pre-sentence report.

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The court heard the woman woke up on a sofa following a night out in Stowmarket to find Lewis touching her between her legs.

She told police she had "frozen" when she felt Lewis touching her.

The assault ended when Lewis received a call on his mobile phone from his girlfriend who was asleep upstairs, said Edward Renvoize, prosecuting.

The victim had phoned a friend and asked her to pick her up and she had later contacted the police.

The court heard that the victim had planned to sleep on a sofa at a house Lewis shared with his partner after a night out in Stowmarket.

Lewis had fallen asleep on the sofa and when the woman couldn't wake him she fell asleep on the other end of the sofa.

Lewis told police he had fallen asleep on the sofa and had woken up at 6am and seen the woman curled up on the sofa in her pyjamas.

He said he had caressed her back and bottom quite firmly and she had moved closer to him.

He said she hadn't opened her eyes or said anything during the incident and he had stopped touching her when she took hold of his hand and pushed it away.

Lewis told police he had then received a call on his mobile phone from his partner who was upstairs and had gone to their bedroom and had sex with her.

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