A Mildenhall man who sexually assaulted a woman following a party in the town has been jailed for three and a half years.
Benjamin Dean, 29, had been drinking before he went into a bedroom where the woman was planning to sleep, Ipswich Crown Court heard today (Friday).
Despite the woman shunning Dean’s advances, he said he wanted to have sex with her and took off her trousers, said prosecutor Jane Oldfield.
As the woman continued to protest and struggle, Dean sexually assaulted her and forcefully performed a sexual act on her, said Miss Oldfield.
During her ordeal on January 10 last year, the victim managed to send a text message to a friend saying: “Help me. I’m sharing a bed with a guy trying to sleep with me.”
The woman said that after initially “freezing” she managed to break free and locked herself in a bathroom. Dean followed her and tried to open the door but without success.
Miss Oldfield said the woman, who was in “floods of tears”, phoned and texted family members and friends asking for help before another woman who had been at the party came to her rescue and took her into her own room.
The following day the victim contacted police and was interviewed resulting in the arrest of Dean who told officers that no sexual contact had taken place.
Dean, of Nursery Close, Mildenhall, pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault on the day his trial, had been due to begin, the court heard.
The victim read a detailed statement to Judge John Devaux, explaining how the incident had impacted on all areas of her life and left her suffering from depression and eating disorders.
She said: “I have realised that I am speaking on behalf of all victims when I say that what happened to me was not OK.”
In the wake of the incident the woman said she had been reduced to “acting like a zombie” barely managing to do her course work, over eating, binge drinking and on one occasion taking an overdose in an attempt to end her life.
The woman said she had become frightened of being near men and going out. She said: “I am terrified of allowing people near me, physically or mentally.”
Appearing for Dean, Greg Perrins said his client wished to apologise unreservedly for what he had done. Dean had been drinking with friends after playing rugby earlier in the day and then going on to the party at a friend’s flat where there had been talk of a “sexual nature” although he accepted that it had not involved the victim.
Sentencing Dean, Judge John Devaux told him that the incident had left the victim suffering the effects of severe psychological harm and had a major impact on the life of his victim.