THE profound impact on a teenager of being sexually assaulted by a stranger in a city park was outlined at Carlisle Crown Court as the 44-year-old offender was sentenced.

Daniel Cameron denied sexually assaulting the 19-year-old as she sat on a park bench in Portland Square in August last year, but he was found guilty after a trial.

The evidence included descriptions of his bizarre behaviour, including how he asked a passing dog walker for sex. Gerard Rogerson, prosecuting, outlined the offence.

The victim was sat on a bench at around 2.20pm on the day in question when she saw Cameron, who was drinking alcohol from a bottle and lying on the ground in another part of the park.

A police officer was concerned enough to briefly approach the defendant to check on his welfare but then walked away, satisfied he was okay.

The teenager described seeing a woman walking past Cameron with her dog, and hearing him asking her if she wanted sex.

“The woman politely declined and walked away,” said Mr Rogerson. It was at this point that the defendant noticed the teenager and made his way over to the bench where she was sitting.

He asked her if she wanted cannabis. “She said no,” said Mr Rogerson.

Cameron then voiced a series of questions, asking the teenager if she had food or drink, whether she went to school or university, and whether she might play some music for him on her phone but she politely declined to engage with him.

“He then asked her for hugs and kisses, leaning in towards her," said the prosecutor. “She again said no. He then asked her if she wanted to go back to his house to have sex. 

"She again replied no.”

He asked the same question a second time before then indecently touching the teenager, who was by this stage desperately trying to wriggle away from Cameron.

As she began to walk away, he grabbed her hand and kissed it.

Mr Rogerson then read the woman’s victim impact statement.

“I never thought something like this would ever happen to me,” she began.

She had been looking forward to starting university and greater independence but none of that would happen now, she said. She no longer goes out unless she is accompanied.

She said of Cameron: “He took everything from me: he made me feel angry, vulnerable, and scared. I think about it all the time. I am so angry at him… a lot of the time I hate him.

"His actions have affected me a lot… I no longer feel good about Carlisle.” She said she felt stupid for having frozen as Cameron carried out the assault.

She sees her attacker in random men and was now less trusting of them. The teenager added: “For me, it was a life-changing event, which will affect me for the foreseeable future. He has broken my trust in others.”

Marion Weir, for Cameron, of Raven Nook, Carlisle, said he maintained his denial of wrongdoing but a background Probation Service report provided him with personal mitigation.

It showed him to be an intelligent man, who was impaired by severe illness. Classed as vulnerable, he lives in basic accommodation and was being helped by a community psychiatric nurse.

Miss Weir added: “He lives in basic accommodation, often without electricity and often without food.”

Judge Nicholas Barker said the case presented a challenging sentencing exercise, given Cameron’s denial of wrongdoing and his mental health challenges.

Referring to the assault, the judge said: “You were undoubtedly intoxicated on alcohol, and you may well – though there is no evidence of it – have taken other substances.

“You were exhibiting bizarre and odd behaviour to the extent that when you were laid flat out a police officer undertook a welfare check.”

Judge Barker noted how Cameron asked a passing dog walker for sex before turning his attention to the teenager and asking her all manner of inappropriate questions and then assaulting her, leaving her “highly distressed.”

The judge continued: “You are not in the least remorseful for your actions, despite sitting and listening to the victim impact statement, which you must recognise can not be fabricated by [the teenager].”

The judge noted Cameron’s long history of a “chaotic lifestyle” and his “delusional behaviour,” with a potential diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.

But there would be limited rehabilitation work if he were jailed. The judge imposed a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years, with 30 rehabilitation activity days.

Cameron must undertake a sexual offenders’ treatment programme and abide by a restraining order that bans any contact with the victim, a complete stranger to him. He will be on the Sex Offender Register for a decade.

Read more: 'Scruffy' stranger sexually assaulted teenager in city park