FOLLOWING a heavy night of drinking, a woman woke to find an elderly man lying on top of her and her underwear removed, a court has heard.
The man, in his late 60s and from a town outside Ballarat, had been drinking with the woman earlier in the night in early 2010 after another friend cancelled on them.
The pair drank heavily, taking shots and consuming mixed drinks.
But when the woman, who was more than 40 years younger him, decided she needed to sleep, he followed her to the bedroom.
Having gone to bed fully dressed, she woke to find him on top of her and her pants and underpants removed.
She forced him off and screamed at him to leave.
The man appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to a single count of indecent assault. He cannot be named for legal reasons.
The victim and her family were also in court, though she requested that her victim impact statement not be read to the court.
Crown prosecutor Alison Sampson read a summary of the offending, saying the victim had gone to bed about 2am or 3am and was woken “some time later”.
She said the man apologised the next morning when she returned his glasses. “The accused said something to the effect that he was sorry for crossing the line,” Ms Sampson said.
Defence lawyer Tim Marsh said his client was heavily intoxicated, describing him as “a light beer drinker who has occasional binges”.
He said the accused was deeply embarrassed by his behaviour.
“I’m instructed it was grossly out of character and it is unlikely to happen again,” he said. “He had a substantial amount of alcohol to drink ... and he understands it was inappropriate.” The man was sentenced to 12 months in prison wholly suspended for two years.