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Man sexually assaulted woman as she woke from a medical episode

PUBLISHED: 12:28 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:25 15 October 2019

Stewart Baker-Ward was sentanced to 3 years for sexual assault. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

Stewart Baker-Ward was sentanced to 3 years for sexual assault. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

A man was caught sexually assaulting a woman after she came round from a medical episode, a court has heard.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has a medical condition.

Norwich Crown Court heard that she came round in October 2017 to discover the defendant touching her sexually.

Baker-Ward has denied sexual assault but was convicted following a trial in August this year.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said the incident has had a "profound effect" on the victim.

A psychological report has been carried out and details the effect the incident has had on the victim, with a deterioration in her mental health.

Although Mrs Tucker accepted there were other factors on play she said that in colloquial terms it had been "the straw that broke the camel's back".

She said the victim has suffered serious psychological harm as a result of the incident which has "put her down the slippery slope".

Baker-Ward, from Stradbroke, Suffolk appeared in court on Tuesday (October 15) to be sentenced after being convicted by a jury of a sexual assault on the victim between October 17 and October 31 2017.

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Jailing the defendant for three years, Judge Stephen Holt acknowledged that the victim's mental health had been affected by the sexual assault.

Despite the defendant's previous good character he said it was "such a serious case" which has had such a serious effect on the victim that only an immediate custodial sentence could be passed.

Baker-Ward was made the subject of a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting the victim directly or indirectly for the next 10 years.

He was also put on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

Matthew McNiff, mitigating, said it was difficult to see how that one single offence, short-lived as it was, has resulted in the sort of significant psychological harm being advanced on behalf of the victim.

He said the defendant was still a young man and was of good character.

Mr McNiff said the conviction would impact on the defendant moving forward for some considerable time.

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