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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Man jailed after creeping into Carlisle house and groping woman in her bed

A young woman woke to find a stranger groping her as she lay in bed.

The 23-year-old had left her front door unlocked after telling a male friend he could come round, but woke to find 35-year-old Polish scaffolder Slawomir Stepsiak in bed with her.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how, half asleep, she thought it was her friend as a hand made its way up her leg.

“She woke to find it groping her before sliding along the side of her body,” prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said.

“It moved on her leg then started stroking her intimately.”

She became ‘uneasy’ when the man didn’t speak and sat upright, said Mr Rogerson.

“She realised it wasn’t [her friend],” he said.

“He rolled off the bed and fell on the floor and she started screaming at him to get out of the house.”

Mr Rogerson said Stepsiak came towards the woman and took hold of her arms. She kept shouting at him to leave and he started to go downstairs. A few minutes later, she went down.

“When she went into the living room a can of hairspray rolled across the floor and she realised he was in the corner,” he said.

“She shouted at him and he said he wanted to get his cigarettes. He went upstairs and she opened the front door.”

Stepsiak then left and the woman noticed he had left a bank card with his name on it, and a mobile phone.

The court heard how the incident last November had left the victim ‘wary and vulnerable’ and she had to move from her home in London Road, Carlisle.

The court heard how the woman had been out earlier in the evening celebrating her birthday and had not spoken to any men, other than her friend, who she met in the Cumberland Inn, on Botchergate.

She had walked home at 2am, texting her friend that he could come round later if he wanted.

CCTV footage showed Stepsiak, of Hayton Road, Harraby, staggering down Botchergate at about 4am. The cameras did not cover the woman’s address so it was not known how he came to open her door.

Stepsiak, who admitted sexual assault and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence, was jailed for 18 months.

Judge Peter Hughes told him: “This is very serious indeed. It’s the invasion of [this young woman’s] home, her security and her privacy. Whether you intended to or not, that is the fact of what happened.”

Stepsiak was also ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.

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