On Air The Morning Show Marc Tyley | 9:30am - Noon

Colby man jailed for indecently assaulting sleeping man

30-year-old handed 23 month sentence

A Colby man has been jailed for 23 months after indecently assaulting another man whilst he slept.

Stuart James Lee Gawne, of Cronk-y-Dhooney, admitted committing two offences in the early hours of 5 July last year.

At Douglas Courthouse last week the 30-year-old was told his behaviour was ‘unacceptable’.

The court heard Gawne and the complainant, who can’t be identified for legal reasons, had argued following a drinking session.

Both went to bed but the victim woke at 4am to find he was being indecently assaulted – when Gawne realised he'd been caught he ‘froze’.

After Gawne went to sleep the man left the property in Douglas and went to stay with friends before reporting the incident to police – one friend described him as being 'physically shaking and very distressed'.

Gawne then sent multiple messages to his victim apologising for his behaviour including one that said: “I’m extremely sorry. I should not have done what I did.”

In police interview Gawne made admissions telling police his ‘drunken head said it would be OK’.

A victim impact statement read out to the court described how the man had undergone therapy as a result of the indecent assaults.

“He broke my trust greatly,” he wrote: “I don’t know how I’ll ever get over what happened to me.”  

Gawne’s basis of plea was outlined which said he’d taken a ‘wreckless approach’ to ‘advanced foreplay’ and was ‘extremely remorseful’ for his conduct.

His advocate added: “There is no self-pity here. There was early acknowledgement, early remorse and an apology.”

Sentencing Gawne to immediate custody, and placing him on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years, Deemster Cook said the victim had been vulnerable due to the fact he was asleep and intoxicated.

“It is unacceptable to do what you did. Everyone is entitled to say yes or no to sexual activity,” he told him.

A charge of rape was withdrawn by the prosecution.

More from Isle of Man News