Detectives hope life sentence will give closure to victim of Adrian Sharman
- Credit: Norfolk Constabulary
The bravery of the victims of a man who entered their homes, subjecting one of them to a 'terrifying' sexual assault, has been commended by police.
The victim who was sexually assaulted had fallen asleep on the sofa in her Diss living room and 'thought she was going to die' when she awoke to find a balaclava-clad man was sexually assaulting her, Norwich Crown Court heard.
The woman was awoken by 'excruciating pain'.
Adrian Sharman, 28, held a pillow over the woman's face during the ordeal which left her 'struggling to breathe'.
Sharman punched the woman in the face after she struggled and then he fled, the court heard.
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Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said Sharman had 'been stalking' his victim, who did not know him.
He had obtained his victim's phone number and sent at least 23 text messages of a sexual nature to her before the attack on March 19 this year.
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Sharman, formerly of Lower Rose Lane, Palgrave, near Diss, was handed a life sentence after previously admitting the single count of sexual assault.
He must serve a minimum of five years before he can apply for parole.
Speaking after the sentencing hearing on Thursday, Det Sgt Mark Joyce said: 'This has been an extremely stressful experience for the victims and we would like to commend them for the courage they have shown.'
Sharman also asked for another offence of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence to be taken into consideration in relation to a separate incident involving another victim in December last year.
Det Sgt Joyce added: 'We hope such a sentence will help give them a sense of closure while encouraging any other victims of such abuse to contact the police.'