A doorman who sexually assaulted a sleeping woman has been handed a prison sentence.

The victim woke up to find Jason Sanderson, 27, touching her breasts and bottom, at which point the "stunned" female froze and pretended to still be sleeping.

Teesside Crown Court how the offender continued to sexually abuse her, as reported by Teesside Live.

The Middlesbrough court was told Sanderson then asked the terrified victim: "Can we please keep this between us?"

Prosecutors said the woman initially never told anyone, before later confiding in a friend.

In a victim impact statement, read to the court by Mr Abrahams, the woman said she was anxious and stressed out.

She said: "I wasn't sleeping and found when I did fall asleep I was waking up all the time."

The victim said that she struggled for a long time to be intimate and it's had had an impact on her relationship.

Sanderson, of Penrhyn Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to assault by penetration and sexual assault on the day of his trial.

The court heard how both Sanderson and the victim were under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Ian Mullarky, defending, told the court that he was a family man with no previous convictions.

Sanderson had left the family home, the court heard, and his partner found it difficult to care on her own for two children.

He said: "In my submission there's a realistic prospect of rehabilitation and custody would have an immediate and significant impact on others, particularly his partner in relation to supplying and supporting and assistance to her in looking after the children they have together."

His defence barrister told the court how he had lost his job as a doorman and was presently relying on benefits.

He said: "That work is no longer available for him."

Mr Mullarky urged Judge James Brown to suspend Sanderson's prison sentence or keep it as short as possible..

He added: "It will be his first prison sentence to be served in the covid restrictions which will be so much more difficult for him."

Judge Brown told Sanderson: "The reality is she woke up to find you touching her bottom and her breast."

The judge said he accepted that she was stunned by this and pretended to be asleep and Sanderson took it as the "green light" to continue with the second assault.

He said: "I accept that when she flinched you stopped. The fact you were indicating it, this, in the first place is deeply worrying.

"Society at large is having a conversation about the way of men and their attitude towards woman and this type of behaviour is totally inappropriate and has no place in a modern civilised society."

Judge Brown sentenced Sanderson to 30 months behind bars and handed him a five year restraining order against the victim.

The defendant must also abide by notification requirements indefinitely.