Woman assaulted as she slept on man's kitchen floor

A 46-YEAR-OLD father of six who sexually assaulted a woman as she slept on the floor of his house has been jailed for 12 months.

Norman John Abell, his wife and another couple had been drinking alcohol at the Abell's home on the night of September 27 last year, Crown prosecutor Paul Bannister told Toowoomba District Court.

The 39-year-old complainant woman had gone to sleep on the floor of the kitchen and the others had gone to bed a little later.

The other man of the group had woken on the lounge to sounds of moaning about 5.30 the next morning and had gone to the kitchen to investigate where he found the complainant woman asleep on the floor with her pants removed and Abell, also naked from the waste down, on top of her simulating sex, Mr Bannister said.

The man screamed at Abell to get off the woman and when he hadn't, he kicked him in the chest to remove him.

The woman had then woken, dressed and she and the man had left the house and gone to police.

Mr Bannister told the court Abell had initially been charged with rape but through negotiations with defence the charge had been reduced to sexual assault to which he pleaded guilty.

The group had all known each other for some time and though the victim woman wasn't in her own home she was in the house of a friend where she should have been able to feel safe, Mr Bannister submitted.

Defence barrister David Jones told the court the group had been drinking that night but his client simply couldn't explain his actions.

Mr Jones said his client's parents and son were in court supporting him and tended a series of references from people who spoke well of him.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren SC said, by the woman's victim impact statement, the adverse affects of the incident on her "seem to be quite profound and ongoing".

The judge noted Abell had a "limited and dated criminal history" but that the community denounced such serious offending.

"Your conduct was deplorable on this occasion," he told the prisoner.

Abell was sentenced to 12 months in jail, the term to be suspended after having served three months, with the balance to hang over his head for two years.
 



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