A TEENAGE girl sexually assaulted by a middle-aged man finally feels that she has justice after he was sent to prison for a year.

Michael Winning, 57, from Mildenhall, near Marlborough had pleaded guilty to the attack in October last year but has now been sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.

The judge said he would have imposed a two-year prison sentence but this was reduced to 12 months due to Winning’s guilty plea and having no previous convictions.

His victim, who was 16 when the crime was committed, hopes others will follow her example and come forward to report sex crimes.

The girl has suffered nightmares and lost confidence since the attack.

Her mum said after the sentencing: “We are all so so glad it’s over. My daughter is happy that her case wasn’t dismissed out of hand and feels vindicated after at last after one-and-a-half years.

“She hopes that this shows that sexual predators do not always get away with their actions and girls should come forward and stand up for themselves.

“I am so glad she can move on now.”

Winning admitted at Salisbury magistrates that the assault on the teenager from the Pewsey Vale had happened at a family party held by one of her close friends.

After the girl had gone to sleep on a sofa in a living room he came into the room in the early hours.

She woke up and at first thought it was one of her friends and put her hand out to them.

But when she realised who the man was she became frightened and unable to react. He kissed her face and neck and groped her breasts. The girl eventually found the strength to push him away and ran to another room where her friends were sleeping.

But for more than a year his victim and her parents have been living a nightmare.

Before the sentencing the victim’s mother said: “I am not a vindictive person and I don’t want revenge. But I want to make sure that people know about what has happened and it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“For the first few months afterwards my daughter was very distressed and couldn’t sleep at night. She spent a month sleeping in my bed. I am very angry that she was made to feel unsafe even in her own home.”

Her daughter helped bring Winning to justice by confronting him just hours after the attack and recorded his admission.

Her mother said: “In the morning she was feeling so angry that she went back into the living room with her friends where the man was still asleep and confronted him. She recorded him admitting what he had done and her friends all heard him admit it as well.

“I am so proud that she had the sense to do that it helped to bring him to justice.”

In a letter to the parents Wiltshire Police witness care officer Shaan Waite wrote to thank the victim and said: “Your evidence was very important in bringing this case to justice and your help is greatly appreciated.”

The girl’s father was also affected as he felt bad that he couldn’t protect his daughter.