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Former Norwich City player spared jail after sexually assaulting sleeping woman

PUBLISHED: 13:23 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:36 15 August 2017

Chris Killen of Norwich City during the Coca Cola Championship match at Molineaux, Wolverhampton in 2009. (Pic by Chris Ratcliffe/Focus Images)

Chris Killen of Norwich City during the Coca Cola Championship match at Molineaux, Wolverhampton in 2009. (Pic by Chris Ratcliffe/Focus Images)

Focus Images 2009

A former professional footballer who got into the bed of a stranger and touched her bottom after an eight hour drinking binge has avoided a jail sentence for sexual assault.

Former Norwich City loan player Chris Killen, 35, arrives at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, where he was sentenced for a sex attack on a young woman as she slept in her bed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 15, 2017. See PA story COURTS Footballer. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA WireFormer Norwich City loan player Chris Killen, 35, arrives at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, where he was sentenced for a sex attack on a young woman as she slept in her bed. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday August 15, 2017. See PA story COURTS Footballer. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Chris Killen, 35, who spent time on loan at Norwich City and also played for teams including Celtic and Manchester City, was in a “stupefied state” from alcohol when he went through the unlocked patio doors of a house where a group of women were sleeping after a party.

His victim, who had been drinking, suddenly became aware of a man next to her in bed and “froze” then felt a hand on her bottom over her knickers, Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard.

She cried out to her sleeping friend who used her phone to light up Killen, who removed his hand and sat up in bed.

New Zealand-born Killen represented his country in the 2010 World Cup after playing for Middlesbrough and Celtic and starting his career with Manchester City as a trainee.

He made four appearances for Norwich in the 2008-9 relegation season.

Father-of-two Killen, of London Road, Adlington, near Macclesfield, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to an offence of sexual assault in the early morning of September 17, 2016.

In a victim impact statement she told the court: “I felt and still feel uneasy on my own. I struggle to sleep. What happened keeps going through my mind. I have not really been myself since it happened.”

Lisa Judge, mitigating, said the defendant’s wife stood by him and he had “positive qualities” including running his own business and doing charity work.

She added: “He’s acknowledged in the cold light of day when sober the effects this would have.”

Judge Maurice Greene said after “long, hard consideration” he would pass a 12 month jail sentence but the “unusual circumstances” of the case meant he could suspend it for 18 months and order Killen to do 20 hours rehabilitation activity and 200 hours community service.

Passing sentence he said: “This woman was particularly vulnerable. She was drunk and asleep at the time this incident happened.”

He ordered the defendant to sign the Sex Offenders Register for the next 10 years.

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