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Indian jailed in UK in bizarre bedroom case

Indian jailed in UK in bizarre bedroom case

The student climbed into a bed where a young woman was sleeping next to her boyfriend and indecently assaulted her.

London: An Indian student of engineering who climbed into a bed where a young woman was sleeping next to her boyfriend and indecently assaulted her, has been jailed in Britain for three years.

Pradeep Baskaran, 23, who completed Master of Science in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering and Management from the Loughborough University, woke the woman when he climbed into her bed and was then chased out of her house on the night of= December 5 last year.

Baskaran, who dropped his passport in the house while being chased away, is likely to be deported to India after completing the jail sentence. He was found guilty earlier this week of sexual assault, but cleared of attempted rape.

The unusual nature of the case was highlighted during his sentencing in the Crown Court yesterday, according to reports from Leicester.

Judge Ebraham Mooncey said, "This case has very unusual features. It's difficult to envisage what you hoped would happen, and difficult to see what you had in mind."

"I don't know if you thought the victim and her boyfriend would have been so drunk they wouldn't know what was happening. There was skin-to-skin contact and you were pushing against her, and that's what woke her up.

"It's fortunate she woke up at that point and chased you out. You had walked into someone's home and went upstairs and found the room in which this woman was sleeping and proceeded to do what you did."

"No-one's suggesting you had broken in (the door was unlocked), but you weren't invited there and had no business being in the house. Your account that you wanted some water, because you were dehydrated (while walking home the worse for drink) was fanciful, bizarre and certainly untrue. The jury rejected your account. What you did was outrageous."

A piece of chewing gum with Baskaran's DNA was found beside the alleged victim's bed. A pair of the woman's knickers allegedly taken from her bedroom as he fled were recovered from Baskaran's home.

Another pair were found in an alley near the house by her boyfriend.

Jonathan Straw, lawyer for Baskaran, said Baskaran had no previous convictions.

He said: "There was no forced entry into the house and the incident was of short duration. It's slightly bizarre. The female victim was not alone."

Judge Mooncey told Baskaran, "She gave evidence and has been affected by what you did and is seeking help in coming to terms with what you did that night. I'm told you're an intelligent man and have graduated from the university. No doubt you'll get a highly-paid job as an engineer and in the fullness of time will be able to put your actions behind you. She won't be able to forget it so readily."

In his police interview, Baskaran said that he was drunk on the night and, while on his way home, became dehydrated.

He said he saw a light on at the victim's home, found the door of the house was unlocked and, as he was desperately thirsty, he went inside.

He claimed he then went upstairs to ask the occupant if it was all right for him to have a drink of water.

He said he went into a bedroom and gently shook someone in bed by their shoulder to try to wake them. The person started screaming and he panicked and ran from the building.

first published:May 28, 2011, 07:57 IST