Man jailed for eight years for sexually assaulting woman in Lowestoft while she pretended to be asleep

Umaro Balde, of Marine Parade in Lowestoft, has been jailed for eight years.

Umaro Balde, of Marine Parade in Lowestoft, has been jailed for eight years. - Credit: Archant

A Lowestoft man was jailed for eight years today after being found guilty of sexual assault and attempted rape.

Umaro Balde, of Marine Parade, was arrested after a woman in her 20s reported being sexually assaulted at address in Marine Parade in June of this year.

The woman was in bed when Balde entered the home and carried out the assault.

She said she was frozen in fear during the attack and had pretended to be asleep.

Balde, 26, was arrested a short time later. He was interviewed by detectives and initially admitted what had happened and was charged with attempted rape.

However in court he pleaded not guilty.

He was today jailed for eight years for the attempted rape and six years for sexual assault with the sentences to run concurrently.

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Officer in the case DC Darren Winchester, of the Lowestoft based 'Gemini' team, said: 'Because of the early report from the woman and her bravery and consistency throughout the case from the initial report, police were able to quickly secure evidence of what had occurred.

'In interview Balde admitted he had made no attempt to talk to the woman or to get her consent before committing the sexual assault and admitted he knew what he had done was wrong.

'We would continue to encourage anyone who is subject to rape or sexual assault to come forward.

'We will fully investigate all allegations and do everything we can to detain offenders and put them before the courts.'

Detective Superintendent David Cutler, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People for Suffolk Police said: 'Victims can often lack confidence in reporting an incident to the police, as they may feel they won't be believed, or that their claim won't be investigated.

'I want to be very clear that rape is not the fault of the victim; it is the person who has sex with them when they have not agreed to it.

'Regardless of the situation or circumstances, we will take any allegation of rape extremely seriously and will investigate any rape or sexual assault that is reported to us.'