Groping pervert Gary Gray has been jailed for a terrifying sex attack on a sleeping schoolgirl.
The 30-year-old launched the dead-of-night assault after knocking back Alcopops, taking valium, and smoking cannabis.
Then he slipped into a room where the 13-year-old girl was already asleep, climbed into the bed, and molested her.
The youngster woke to find Gray beside her and had to fight him off before finally fleeing the flat in South Tyneside to get help.
Gray, from Calver Court, South Shields, was found guilty of indecent assault by a Newcastle Crown Court jury last November and remanded in custody while a psychiatric report was prepared.
The report revealed Gray had been suffering from a mental illness for some time.
But Judge Michael Cartlidge said the assault was too serious to pass anything other than a custodial sentence.
Jailing him for three years and ordering him to register as a sex offender, Judge Cartlidge told Gray: “I accept you didn’t set out that evening to get into bed with the girl, but it is a very serious thing to do what you did.”
The attack was the second time Gray had sparked public outrage.
He was convicted of careless driving and perverting justice during 2000 after an accident in South Shields which left dad-of-one Daniel Arnold, 20, dying at the roadside. Mr Arnold’s family and friends gathered a 10,000 name protest petition after Gray, who had left the accident scene and tried to scrap the car, served just three weeks of a two month prison sentence.
Paul Sloan QC, defending, said Gray was an `emotionally vulnerable’ man who had become the victim of a hate campaign and was suffering post traumatic stress disorder.”