A MAN has been found guilty of trying to rape a woman as she slept in a Carlisle flat.

Joseph Mjemer, 36, was acquitted on Wednesday of two charges which had alleged he raped the female only hours after meeting her in the city early on New Year's Day.

However, a jury convicted Mjemer of attempted rape following a trial at Carlisle crown court.

They had heard evidence given by the woman in an interview with police following the incident.

She told how she'd gone into Carlisle to celebrate New Year's Eve, having drinks with friends before things became "hazy".

She couldn't remember going to the flat, nor meeting Mjemer, who she woke to find standing fully clothed near her.

She fell asleep again and woke a second time to find him naked next to her.

"I panicked. I pushed him off. I said what are you doing? You need to stop. That's wrong," she said in her interview.

The woman also reported personal items, including her phone, were missing amid the brief encounter.

Mjemer, of Elizabeth Street, Glasgow, was caught on CCTV boarding a coach to Scotland.

He was captured having given personal details to British Transport Police in Carlisle on New Year's Eve.

Following Wednesday's unanimous verdicts, the jury was told of Mjemer's "quite extensive criminal history" - including offences of dishonesty - and "23 aliases".

Judge Paul Lawton adjourned the case.

He ordered a report assessing the risk of further offending posed by Mjemer, who was remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.