A FORMER Christchurch man has been jailed for 40 months for attempting to rape a woman as she lay sleeping.
Jason Jeffrey (48) was sent down at Bournemouth Crown Court for the attack, which happened during the 2016 festive period.
Jeffrey initially denied the offence, but after hearing the victim and her sister give evidence on the first day of his trial, he changed his plea to guilty.
The victim, who was in her 30s, and three of her friends had gone to a Christmas party before moving on to the Xchange bar in Bournemouth.
When Jeffrey arrived there he began talking to one of the friends and he was witnessed passionately kissing a male twice.
After leaving the bar the group, including Jeffrey, went to an address in Poole to continue drinking. There, the victim fell asleep on the floor next to her friend wearing a dressing gown. She was later moved onto a sofa bed and covered with a blanket.
The next thing she remembered, the court heard, was waking to discover Jeffrey trying to have sex with her and bruises on her thighs.
She got up and left and immediately called her partner but could not get through so she called her sister who lives in another part of the country and told her what had happened.
It was reported to Dorset Police just before 8am. Officers attended the address and arrested Jeffrey at the scene. He was subsequently charged with attempted rape.
Speaking after he was sentenced to three years and four months in jail, DC Chris Panther said: “Jason Jeffrey assaulted his victim as she lay sleeping. This incident has had a significant and lasting impact on her.
“I would like to pay tribute to her for coming forward, supporting the prosecution and giving evidence. It was due to her powerful evidence, and that of her sister, that caused Jeffrey to change his plea to guilty during the trial.
“I hope this case sends out a very strong message that we will do all we can to support victims and bring offenders to justice,” he added.
The force stressed organisations can help victims of sexual violence. Information is available by visiting www.dorsetforyou.com/dvahelp for details, or calling Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre on 01202 308855 or The Shores (Dorset Sexual Assault Referral Centre) on 01202 552056.