Man asked for a cuddle then assaulted woman in home

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

After agreeing to a cuddle a Scarborough female then had to fight off a 39-year-old man after he ripped-off her underwear.

Robert Limehouse and the woman had been drinking at his former Scarborough home when the incident happened.

Limehouse, who had since moved in to his mother’s home in Pinewood Close, Whitby, appeared before York Crown Court for sentencing, having earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault.

The court heard that after attacking the woman on July 5, last year, Limehouse desisted after she fought back, bursting into tears himself and then leaving the address.

The police were contacted and arrived at the address to find the woman crying and distressed with a bruise to her hip.

Limehouse later returned and was arrested, originally being charged with attempted rape, but the Crown Prosecution Service eventually, on the day of trial, accepted the lesser charge.

Limehouse has 11 previous convictions for 18 offences, including assaults on women, but nothing of a sexual nature.

The court heard that most of his offending had been related to his heavy drinking, he and the woman having shared several litres of cider before the sexual assault took place.

Taryn Turner, mitigating, said her client was only charged in December with the offence, after his release from custody for a physical assault on a female.

She added that, apart from a short spell on bail which he breached, Limehouse had spent the last six months on remand – the equivalent of a 12 month custodial sentence.

Passing sentence, The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told Limehouse that the fact he had spent so long on remand had saved him from an immediate custodial sentence, although he was going to be subject to stringent conditions to protect women in the future.

Placing Limehouse on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years, the judge sentenced him to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, placed him under supervision for the same length of time and ordered him to take part in a sex offender group programme.