A WIDNES man who sexually assaulted a woman at a Tesco depot has been jailed for 12 months.

Ian Neil, aged 32, of Plumley Gardens, had denied the offence but was convicted by a jury after a one-day trial in February.

He subjected the woman to a terrifying ordeal, forcing himself upon her at the Tesco distribution centre in West Bank.

Sentencing him at Chester Crown Court yesterday, Tuesday, the Recorder of Chester Judge Elgin Edwards said: “I view this as a very serious matter. It was a prolonged attack for 15 minutes.

“You lied to the jury. You said nothing happened. You showed not one ounce of contrition.”

Maria Masselis, prosecuting, said the assault happened in May last year when Neil made sexual suggestions to the woman .

“He pushed her and forced her to kiss him,” she said.

The woman was sexually assaulted and Neil goaded her, saying: ‘You know you want to’. She resisted and twice put her hands over her mouth to stop him.

She reported the incident and disciplinary proceedings followed.

The victim said she was still traumatised and suffered flashbacks. She had been worried about bumping into the defendant while he was out on bail.

Simon Berksen, defending, said his client had made 'stupid denials' during the trial but had since admitted the assault to a probation officer.

Mr Berksen added: "He hasn't helped himself."

He said there were personal circumstances in his life but did not elaborate. A pre-sentence report was submitted to the judge but not read out in court.

Neil was put on the sex offenders' register for 10 years. The judge made a restraining order that he must not contact the victim.