An offender who indecently assaulted another man has been jailed for 23 months at the Court of General Gaol Delivery.
Stuart James Lee Gawne, 30, of Cronk-y-Dhooney in Colby, was jailed by Deemster Graeme Cook on Friday morning.
The court heard that after a night out on July 4, 2021, the victim was woken by what he believed to be Gawne having sex with him. It stopped only when Gawne realised the victim had woken up.
It was later agreed that Gawne had used his finger.
When Gawne fell asleep his victim went to his friends’ home. In the subsequent days and months, Gawne texted the victim saying he was ‘extremely sorry’ and ‘currently hating myself’.
His victim reported the assault to the police on September 21, 2021, and Gawne was arrested in early October.
During his first interview, Gawne answered all questions and made admissions to police, which involved saying he had been watching pornography and after checking if his victim was awake, began to perform sex acts on him. In a second interview, he gave ‘no comment’ replies to questions.
On June 6 of this year, Gawne entered a basis of plea where he admitted indecent assault and admitted his actions had been ‘reckless’. He also said he was ‘extremely remorseful’ for his conduct.
Ms Braidwood also read from a victim impact statement in which his victim said he had struggled sleeping following the assaults and was living with stress and anxiety.
This had left him nervous to go out, something he had only recently felt able to do with a small group of friends and had begun to see a therapist.
The man also revealed he had suffered a panic attack after seeing Gawne out in public.
Following the assaults, the man had also had to give up his job and move into a non-customer facing role after spending four months signed off.
He added: ‘I don’t know how I could ever trust anyone again.’
Defence advocate Jim Travers said that, as seen in a series of character witnesses, Gawne was well thought-of before the assaults and that he was recognised as a ‘hardworking’ man who recognised that his career as a designated official was over.
Mr Travers said ‘there is no self-pity here’, that Gawne had remorse for his actions and had pleaded guilty at the first possible opportunity and that his behaviour and engagement with the social inquiry report had shown his actions to be ‘beyond reproach’ since the assaults.
The court also heard that Gawne was suffering from mental health issues, which were not detailed in open court, before the assaults. He added: ‘But for this isolated example, this one-off, his true nature is in the character references.’
In sentencing Gawne, Deemster Cook told him his actions were unacceptable.
He added: ‘You must not takeanybody’s body before you think it is OK… Everybody has the right to say yes or no.’
Deemster Cook, addressing the victim, who was in court, said: ‘I hope he can get over this.’
Gawne was jailed for 23 months for one count of indecent assault, with a concurrent 12-month sentence for the second offence. Both offences date from the night of July 4 to 5, 2021.
He will also be placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
Gawne was found not guilty of a further charge of rape after the prosecution offered no evidence.