A MAN who performed a sex act on a sleeping teenage girl has walked free from court.
Victor Edwards, 27, was given a suspended jail sentence for his “despicable behaviour” following a drinks party at his Bradford Road home last June.
Edwards, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl, but was cleared last Thursday afternoon of raping her.
And his victim’s family have reacted with disgust that Edwards was only given a suspended jail sentence.
In a statement they said: “We are very, very shocked at the sentence given.
“It left the whole family in complete shock and distress.
“He committed a dreadful crime. We feel he has not been given the right sentence.
“All we can say is justice has not been done or served this time.”
A trial at Leeds Crown Court heard how Edwards and his partner were entertaining last summer when they and another couple ended up stripping off and talking about sex.
But the 17-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, felt conscious about what she was doing and rushed upstairs to be sick.
And when she came back downstairs Edwards tugged at the top she was wearing which killed the party atmosphere.
The 17-year-old girl went to bed alone but was woken by Edwards performing a sex act upon her.
Edwards claimed during the trial the only thing he was guilty of was of cheating on his partner.
Adrian Dent, mitigating, said salesman Edwards had no previous convictions.
Mr Dent added: “He acted wholly improperly and he bitterly regretted immediately what has happened and was at pains to say so.”
The barrister said the conviction would have a devastating effect on Edwards and his family. But a custodial sentence would mean the loss of his home.
Mr Dent said Edward had already lost his job as a result of the proceedings.
Judge Scott Wolstenholme, passing sentence, said: “It was despicable behaviour, which left her feeling distressed and violated.”
Edwards was jailed for 12 months but the sentence was suspended for a year. He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work.