A MAN has been jailed for four years for carrying out a vile sexual assault on his terrified victim.

Simon Gidney attacked the woman after drinking and taking cocaine in June this year.

The 48-year-old grabbed the woman and assaulted her for a prolonged period before she managed to fight him off and escape, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The woman managed to scratch her attacker's face, leaving gouge marks on his cheeks and forehead, and when police arrived she still had his skin under her fingernails.

Robin Turton, prosecuting, said: "He had taken cocaine and had forced himself on her on the landing of the stairs. The victim fought back, hitting him and scratching him – a neighbour heard the incident."

Mr Turton said the attack only ended when Gidney realised he had scratches to his face.

He said the victim had been severely affected by her ordeal and no longer trusted men.

Gidney, of Coatham Road, Redcar, pleaded guilty to assault by penetration.

In mitigation, Robert Mochrie, said his client accepted his guilt.

He said: "He knows what he did that night was wrong."

Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Gidney for four years for the sex attack.

He said: "It's clear from reading the victim statement that this was a very ugly and violent incident.

"You had been taking cocaine and you decided, against her consent, that you were entitled to touch her sexually that night."