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Sunday, 01 March 2015

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Cumbrian man sexually assaulted woman in her bed

A man who sexually assaulted a woman after going into her house and getting into her bed has been put on the sex offenders’ register.

David Ian Stewart, 31, claimed he was only there because he thought the woman wanted to have sex with him.

But the woman told a jury at Carlisle Crown Court in a trial this week that she had no such wish.

In fact she thought the man in bed with her was her boyfriend, which, she said, was why she did not struggle or stay “Stop!”.

Stewart, of Burthwaite Croft, Burthwaite, Wreay, Carlisle, pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, saying he believed the woman had consented to what he was doing.

He claimed he had had sexual contact with her in his own home about 18 months before – something she denied.

He told the jury that on the day of the assault he had been sending her “flirty” text messages after drinking a litre of vodka.

He agreed she had sent him two texts in reply – both of which she said were “clearly negative” – but he had misunderstood them at the time.

He claimed the woman’s “conversations and text messages”, allied to her body language, made him think she wanted to have sex with him.

So he went to her house, taking the fact that the door was unlocked as confirmation that she wanted sex, he said.

The house was in darkness, he said, so he went upstairs and got into her bed, although she was asleep.

Asked by prosecuting counsel David Polglase if he had been “chancing his luck”, Stewart agreed that he had.

After the jury’s unanimous guilty verdict Stewart was remanded on bail for background reports.

He will be sentenced on March 8.


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