Alcoholic sex pest jailed

A MAN who sexually assaulted a woman who had offered him a place to live while he was homeless will spend at least the next 20 months behind bars.

The County Court at Mildura on Friday heard the Swan Hill man, 54, was repeatedly told his sexual advances were not welcome in the weeks before he assaulted the woman as she slept.

The man, a chronic alcoholic, became homeless after falling out with his brother and was offered a place to stay by a former partner.

Prosecutor David O’Doherty said the woman woke at 3am on May 29 last year to find the man had pulled down her pyjama bottoms and was performing a sex act on her.

The woman yelled at the man to get away and called police, but the man left the house before they arrived.

He denied the asasult when spoken to by police later that day but DNA evidence corroborated the woman’s story.

The man – who was placed on the sex offenders register for life after a 2007 conviction for three counts of sexual penetration with a child under 16 – last week pleaded guilty to sexual assault and failing to notify police of his change of address.

The court heard the man had consumed about a four-litre cask of wine each day for the past decade and often slept rough, having done so the night before his court appearance in Mildura.

He had also told a psychiatrist who assessed him after the assault that he “thought it would be nice” for the victim.

“I characterise this as unrequited love – I regret to say that,” defence barrister Timothy Sullivan said.

Judge Gavan Meredith said the woman was “in no way to blame” for what the man did.

Judge Meredith sentenced him to two years and seven months behind bars, with a 20-month non-parole period.

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