A teaching assistant sexually assaulted a woman as she slept which left her feeling unable to trust men.
Christopher Edwards, 33, denied assaulting his victim, who has lifelong anonymity, but was found guilty following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
The defendant, of Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd, carried out the assault last year when he fondled the woman’s breast and bit her.
As a result of his offending Edwards has lost his job at a school and will now be prevented from working with children. His victim was an adult and had no connection with the school.
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A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court heard a victim personal statement in which the victim spoke about how the assault had affected her life in a number of ways.
She said: “I previously suffered with mental health, anxiety, and depression but this incident has made my mental health much worse. I suffer frequent panic attacks and it affects my sleep as I now have nightmares.
“The incident has effected my relationship with my husband and I’m unable to sleep in the same bed as him. It’s caused me to have little trust in males…
“Since the incident I am a lot more receptive to sexual violence I see in the media, TV, and music. I had to take time off work after suffering panic attacks and I’m going to therapy to help me deal with what happened.”
Edwards, of Owen Street, was found guilty of sexual assault but was acquitted of assault by penetration.
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Recorder Greg Bull QC expressed some concerns the defendant maintained his stance at trial that the actions with the victim were consensual but defence barrister Andrew Davies said his client was “acutely aware” of the impact on the victim.
He admitted Edwards was drunk at the time of assault, which was an aggravating factor, but said he no longer drinks to excess and emphasised his previous good character.
Sentencing, Recorder Bull said: “It gives me no pleasure to see a man such as you in the dock before me being sentenced for such a serious offence. The offence was out of character but was nevertheless a serious one.”
Edwards was sentenced to nine months imprisonment and will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.
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Source: Wales Online