A MAN who broke into a woman’s home and sexually assaulted her as she slept in bed next to her young child has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Charlie Bowyer was completely naked when he touched the woman in her own home in the terrifying attack in Greenstead, Colchester.

The victim initially thought she was dreaming but when she realised what was happening screamed out to her brother who was in another room.

She tried to push Bowyer away but he pinned her wrists to the bed and tried to quieten her down.

When her brother came into the room Bowyer ran away and tried to get out of the front door, which was locked, and then failed to get out of a window in a spare room.

The victim was hysterical and screamed for Bowyer to leave so her brother opened the door and he then sprinted out.

The 25-year-old was later seen by neighbours covered in cuts and bruises attempting to harm himself in a garden.

He was later arrested and told police he had taken cocaine.

Police searched his home – which was then in Colchester – and found small amounts of the drug and cannabis.

At a previous hearing, Bowyer admitted two counts of sexual assault, trespassing with intent to commit sexual assault, possession of cocaine and possession of cannabis.

A harrowing impact statement read out at Ipswich Crown Court, said the victim was now struggling to sleep or leave her house since she was attacked and has been left feeling numb.

Another of her children was also in the house at the time and he has also suffered huge issues in the wake of the incident in May.

She said: “I look in the mirror and I do not see myself.

“I feel like this has ruined my life forever.”

Bowyer, now of Luckin Crescent, Chingford, has just one previous conviction for battery but said he had drunk alcohol and taken more cocaine than ever before on the night of the assault.

Richard Conley, mitigating, said Bowyer was disgusted at his behaviour and wished he unreservedly apologise to the woman he assaulted and said his actions were completely inexplicable.

Judge David Goodin said he hoped the victim would recover with time.

He said: “This was an utterly terrifying ordeal for the victim.

“It does not take much imagination how she must have felt to wake up and find a naked man sexually assaulting her in her bed.

"You have cheapened her life.

“I hope in time she will be able to go to back to some kind of normal life.”

Bowyer was also handed an indefinite restraining order and is now on the sex offenders register.