A university student’s dreams of a career in the law could be over after he was jailed for drunkenly slapping a sleeping woman’s face with his flaccid penis.
Criminology student John Luke Dale, 21, from Milton Keynes, took advantage of the woman after she fell asleep at digs in Nottingham last year.
As a friend filmed the act with a mobile phone, the Nottingham Trent University student stripped to his boxers and attacked her.
But the sick behaviour did not come to light until later when the pal showed the video to workmates and the police were called.
Dale, of Abbeydale Grove, Monkston, admitted sexual assault and was jailed for nine months at Nottingham Crown Court in September.
Lawyers tried to overturn the sentence at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, but three top judges rejected their case, leaving Dale’s law career hopes in tatters.
In a victim impact statement, the unidentified victim said the incident had made her feel violated.
She was worried that the video might still get into others’ hands.
“It makes me think that it could still be out there in someone’s possession and that anyone could have it,’ she said.
“Knowing that it could exist petrifies me.”
Dale’s barrister, Trevor Burke QC, argued that his sentence was too tough and claimed that Dale had received no sexual gratification from the act.
“What it was was a stupid drunken incident that lasted a very brief period of time, where he slaps his flaccid penis on the head of a sleeping woman,” he said.
“It was extremely unpleasant, but not driven by any sexual motivation on his part.”
The student said that had done everything he could to mitigate the offence, vowing to keep away from the university until his victim had graduated.
He had moved back to his family home, where he was being kept under curfew by his parents and working for his dad to earn money to pay the victim compensation.
Potentially losing his studies and hopes of a career as a solicitor were additional punishments which meant a prison sentence could have been avoided, Mr Burke continued.
Rejecting the appeal, Judge Alistair McCreath, sitting with Lord Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Spencer, said the offence had caused the woman “obvious and significant distress”.
“One can see in stark form the distress caused to the victim of this offence and the continuing nature of it,” he said.
“The sentence which the judge imposed cannot possibly be wrong in principle.
“She struck a balance between the mitigating and aggravating factors and exercised her judgment in a manner which was open to her.”