A 33-year-old man has been jailed for 22 months after he entered a stranger’s property on Boxing Day 2021 and sexually assaulted a woman as she lay in her bed.

Luke Edwards, of Kingsbridge, was sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court on Friday, July 29 for sexual assault after pleading guilty to the offence.

The court heard how in the early hours of Monday December 26, 2021, Edwards entered the property without consent and got into bed with the occupier.

He then went on to sexually assault her.

The woman woke up and alerted her partner who was in the bed next to her.

Edwards fled the scene and was arrested shortly after and charged with sexual assault.

Lead officer DC Emma Dobson said: “It is chilling that a young woman was sexually assaulted whilst asleep in bed.

“Edwards took the opportunity to gain entry during the early hours of the morning and sexually assaulted the victim.

“Whilst crimes of this nature are rare, we want to reassure the public that all efforts will be made to bring offenders to justice for offences of this nature.

“Violence against women and girls is taken extremely seriously by Devon and Cornwall Police.

“We commend the victim’s resilience and support throughout the investigation, and we urge any victims to please come forward and talk to us.

“We have specially trained officers who work closely with partner organisations to provide support to victims and witnesses through every step of the process, from the time or reporting right thought to the trial and beyond.”

If you require help or assistance relating to rape or abuse please take a look at the list of helplines below:

• National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999

• Devon and Cornwall Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC): 0300 3034626

• Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Independent Sexual Advisor Service: 03458 121212

• Victim Care Unit: 01392 475900

• Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services: 01392 204 174

In an emergency always call 999 and in a non-emergency please visit www.dc.police.uk/contact.