A man has been jailed after ripping a woman’s underwear off and sexually assaulting her outside a nightclub.
Lewis Hopkins attacked the woman near a Cardiff location in August 2016. Since then she has struggled with low self-esteem, eating disorders and thoughts of self-harming.
Hopkins appeared at Cardiff Crown Court Tuesday after pleading guilty to sexual assault. Judge Richard Williams said the 29-year-old accused was “very drunk” at a club the night of the attack. At one point, he walked out of the building with the victim and others. He put his hands on the victim’s skirt, ripped off her underwear and sexually assaulted her.
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“She yelled at you to get down and others confronted you,” the judge added. “You then left the scene. The victim was in pain. You were confronted with a message the next day and offered no specific apology. “
The victim reported the attack to police in 2020. She told officers she felt “humiliated” when Hopkins laughed while sexually assaulting her.
“It left him with low self-esteem and occasional thoughts of harming himself,” Judge Williams continued. “It affected her relationship. She is worried that she developed compulsive disorder habits and irregular eating habits. She remains confused and puzzled as to why you did this to her.”
Hopkins, who lives with his parents on Hazelhurst Road in Llandaff North, was involved in a serious car accident in 2011. The victim accused him of using this as an “excuse” for his behavior.
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He initially denied that the attack took place. A few days before his trial, charged with sexual assault by penetration, he pleaded guilty to the less serious offense of sexual assault.
The judge told Hopkins: “I have read that you have post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of a serious traffic accident, but currently you do not need medication. A number of references tell me that you are highly regarded by those who wrote them and that the offense was not of character.
“You pretend you don’t remember the incident and assume that you may have been taking tramadol medication at the time. You had intentionally consumed a substantial amount of alcohol prior to the incident and told probation officers that your drinking at that time had become problematic. You claim that you haven’t been drinking since.
Judge Williams acknowledged that Hopkins had no previous convictions and that more than five years have passed since the attack, but he also highlighted the impact on the victim and said: “The only appropriate punishment can be obtained by immediate detention “.
The judge sent Hopkins to jail for 16 months and imposed an order preventing him from contacting the victim indefinitely. He will be on the sex offender registry for 10 years.
South Wales Police were unable to provide a custody image of Hopkins as he was charged by postal requisition.
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