Man, 29, sexually assaulted woman after ‘climbing into wrong bed’ he claims

A man convicted of sexual assault claims he thought he had climbed into his girlfriend's bed.

Craig Hough, 29, sent grovelling messages to his victim, who was asleep when he started the attack, before telling her "it was bound to happen" when she woke up.

Grimsby Crown Court heard how the dad-of-one had drunk two bottles of white wine on the night of the assaultin 2017, GrimsbyLive reports.

Prosecutor Nick Adlington said: "He put his hand on her underwear. She opened her eyes and did not know what was going on."

Hough, from Scunthorpe, then sexually assaulted the woman as she tried to push his hand away.

Mr Adlington said: "He tried to kiss her, moving his hands and while he was doing this, he said, 'It was bound to happen between us.'

"She left the property in the middle of the night. He tried to persuade her to stay but she left and called her boyfriend."

Soon after, the woman got a message from Hough that said: "I'm so sorry, please don't let this make this awkward between us. I'm just a drunken idiot, I'm so sorry."

Another two messages she received said: "Please don't hate me" and "Nothing can change what I've done. I wish you could forgive me, I'm so ashamed of myself, I can't believe what I did, I'm so sorry."

Hough was not summonsed until May 2020.

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In his police interview, he said he had got into the wrong bed and had touched the woman thinking she was his girlfriend, realising he had been mistaken when she woke up.

When he was asked in his interview what he was apologising for in the messages, he said he had said sorry for "getting into the wrong bed."

He later pleaded guilty to assault by penetration.

Hough's victim bravely, through tears, read her victim impact statement out to the court.

She said: "Sometimes when I'm being intimate with someone I have to stop. I feel sick and don't want to be touched.

"I have been anxious about attending public events and going out in Scunthorpe in case I bump into him. I have seen him once and I froze in panic.

"If I hear about women going to visit him I have been worried about their safety. I'm very hurt that someone could hurt me in such a way."

Mitigating, Craig Lowe said: "This defendant, within hours of committing this offence, was remorseful and ashamed and said he was sorry for his offending but he panicked in interview and denied the offence.

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"I spoke to him today and asked why he changed his account and he said he was scared his daughter would be taken off him and that he should have done the right thing."

Mr Lowe said the author of the pre-sentence report referenced "the very difficult time he endured at school."

He said: "Drink played a huge part in this offence and he has now stopped drinking totally. He suffers with depression and attends psychotherapy sessions. It is very clear that he is remorseful."

As he jailed Hough for 40 months and made him the subject of an indefinite restraining order, Judge John Thackray QC paid tribute to Hough's victim and told him: "This is a very serious offence.

"Your victim couldn't have made it clearer to you that she had no sexual interest in your. You were persistent and determined and when she was sleeping you committed this offence.

"It has had a profound effect on your victim. Some victims never recovery from offending like this, and the court wishes her well in her recovery."

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