A 23-year-old man who tried to rape a woman as she slept has been jailed for more than four years.
Nathan Ward attacked his victim after drinking in pubs in Hartlepool town centre, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“The victim had also been drinking, but not to excess,” said Paul Reid, prosecuting. “She went to bed fully clothed.
“The defendant later got into the same bed, wearing just his boxer shorts.
“He tried to kiss the victim and touch her breasts, she awoke and pushed him away.
“But he persisted in touching her private parts and attempted to have intercourse.”
The court heard the victim told a friend what happened, but told him she didn’t want to call the police.
Mr Reid added: “The friend said the police had to be called, so he did so.
“Officers called at the defendant’s address the next day, and asked him if he knew why they were there.
“He said he had a good idea.
“The defendant lives with his mother, and was given the opportunity by the police to tell her himself about what was happening.
“She became very tearful when he told her he had raped someone the previous evening.”
Ward, of Wilson Street, Hartlepool, admitted attempted rape, and two offences of sexual assault.
He was of previous good character.
Robin Denny, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Ward deeply regrets what happened, and he has shown genuine remorse.
“He had taken a great deal to drink that day, which lowered his inhibitions and badly affected his judgment.
“This was not the completed offence of rape, which in my submission the court can take into account when passing sentence.”
The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, jailed Ward for fours years and six months.
The judge told him: “It was this young woman’s first sexual experience.
“She no doubt hoped her first such experience would to be a tender and loving one.
“You robbed her of that, and you violated her.
“I accept you have shown some remorse, but it was late in the day.”
Ward was made the subject of an order banning him for life from contacting his victim.