Weston plumber jailed after sexual assault was caught on camera

Bristol Crown Court.

Bristol Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A Weston father is behind bars after he sexually assaulted a woman in her home, despite being told 37 times to stop.

Benjamin Hayes, aged 31 and of Haywood Village, was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Thursday).

The plumber was convicted of sexual assault - and acquitted of attempted rape - last month by a jury, who heard Hayes 'manhandled', 'straddled' and 'dry-humped' the woman while she was pinned a bed.

Charles Thomas, prosecuting, said the crime on July 18, 2018 had profoundly affected the victim, causing a strained relationship with her husband and the need for stress-relieving medication.

The crime was caught on a home security camera, and footage showed an 'aroused' Hayes ignore the victim's repeated refusal for sex before carrying her in a bear hug to her bed.

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He kissed her breast and attempted to kiss her face and vagina before pulling his trousers down and dry-humping her with his erection concealed beneath his boxer shorts.

He stopped after around 10 seconds and left.

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Recorder James Watson QC told Hayes it was 'unsurprising' the jury did not believe the defendant's not guilty plea - adding he had violated the 'sanctuary' of the woman's home.

The judge said: "The assault was preceded by a sustained attempt on your part to pester her to agree into having full sexual intercourse. When that pressure didn't work, you pushed her into a bedroom and assaulted her.

"You hoped to have an affair. It is obvious that you were aroused

"It must have been clear to you from the outset she was not willing to engage in sexual contact with you.

"Immediate custody has to be the only conclusion. A man who violates a woman must expect a custodial sentence."

Emma Martin, defending, wanted Hayes to receive a suspended sentence.

She said: "His behaviour on that morning was completely abusive and completely wrong. He is mortified at his behaviour.

"People who have known him for very many years say this is a man who can be relied on as a faithful friend, good father and hardworking member of society."

Ms Martin added the plumber, who cried in the dock during the hearing, had suffered cancellations as a result of 'what people read about him in the paper'.

She continued: "He has two young children and he and his wife are working through this as responsibly as possible."

Hayes received a 10-year restraining order, and he will have to sign the sex offenders register for the same period.

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