Hartlepool doorman jailed for 'deeply worrying' sex attack on sleeping victim
A doorman who committed a sex attack on a vulnerable woman while she slept has been jailed.
Jason Sanderson indecently touched the victim on a couch after she had been out drinking with friends in Hartlepool and had later fallen asleep.
The 27-year-old attacker was jailed for two-and-a-half years at Teesside Crown Court for what the judge said was “deeply worrying” behaviour.
Prosecutor Paul Abrahams described how the victim awoke to find Sanderson next to her touching part of her body.
She described being “frozen” and pretended to be asleep.
Mr Abrahams said Sanderson further sexually assaulted the woman, who cannot be legally identified.
He said: "It’s the crown’s view that she was vulnerable and from other witnesses it’s plain she was heavily intoxicated at the time.”
She told a friend about the incident and also reported him to the police.
Sanderson initially denied matters but pleaded guilty to assault by penetration and sexual assault on the day he was due to stand trial in September.
A victim personal statement read in court described how she has been affected by what he did to her.
She said: “I struggled a lot to cope after this happened.”
She said she has struggled to sleep, suffered anxiety and struggles to go out and socialise as a result.
Judge James Brown told Sanderson: “It’s absolutely clear that you were given no indication at any stage that sexual contact between you and the victim was welcome on her part before the offences were committed.
"She clearly had something to drink. On any version of events this was an appalling violation of her.”
Judge Brown added: “The fact that you thought you were entitled to behave like this in the first place is to my mind deeply worrying.
"Quite properly at the moment society at large is having a serious conversation about the attitudes of men and their behaviour towards women, and this type of behaviour is totally inappropriate and has no place in a modern civilised society.”
Ian Mullarkey, mitigating for Sanderson, of Penrhyn Street, Hartlepool, said he recognised his behaviour was totally unacceptable.
Mr Mullarkey said: “He acknowledges and recognises the impact of his conduct on the complainant and is deeply regretful and ashamed.”
Sanderson will also be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.