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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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Five years for sex attacker who sneaked into woman's flat

A Workington sex attacker who got into a woman’s flat and groped her while she was asleep on the sofa has been jailed for five years.

Related: Cumbrian man found guilty of sexual touching

Sixty-year-old William James Winder, of Firth View Walk, was sent to prison after he entered the victim’s flat and started to kiss her and grope her.

Judge Paul Batty QC told Winder he had gone into the flat of a vulnerable woman and subjected her to a ‘terrifying’ ordeal.

“She awoke on the settee to find you leaning over her, which must have been terrifying, and you set about indecently assaulting her,” he said. “Had she not bravely fought you off who knows what would have happened.”

Judge Batty said that the charges were made worse by the fact that the attack took place in the victim’s home, she was vulnerable, he was affected by drink and he had vigorously denied the charges throughout the trial. Winder also tried to take her trousers off, he said,

“You went into her house uninvited as a trespasser,” he added. “She was vulnerable. She was dozing or sleeping, which is what she frequently did.

During the two day trial this week, Carlisle Crown Court heard how the woman, who can’t be named, woke to find Winder next to her on the sofa one evening last November.

When she realised what was happening to her she grabbed her attacker hard in a desperate bid to get him off her before demanding that he leave the property.

It was only when her boyfriend returned after walking their dogs that he finally left.

Mark Shepherd, in mitigation, said Winder had just turned 60, was not in a relationship and had no children.

He added that he was lonely and isolated at his address and his problems manifested themselves when he was “under the influence of alcohol”. He said: “He consumes nine to 10 drinks per day which can’t be healthy.”

Mr Shepherd said that he had been diagnosed with depression and had found his period in custody, while on remand, very difficult.

As well as the five year jail term Winder will be on the sex offenders register for life and be made the subject of a sex offender prevention order.

Under the terms of the order he is not to contact or knowingly be within 100m of his victim for an indefinite period.


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