South Tyneside party groper is put behind bars after sexually assaulting the same woman three times

Byron Dickinson.
Byron Dickinson.

A drunk reveller who groped a guest and exposed his private parts at a South Tyneside house party has been jailed.

Byron Dickinson had downed lager and taken cocaine, when he sexually assaulted the same woman three times.

The victim, who cannot be named, said in a statement her life has been "crushed" by what happened and added: "I hate how my life has changed from someone bubbly and outgoing to someone who hates going out and prefers to stay in."

Dickinson, 33, of Forber Avenue, South Shields, had denied three charges of sexual assault during a trial at Newcastle Crown Court but was convicted by a jury.

The victim, who gave evidence at the trial, added: "Him pleading not guilty made me go through everything again, in front of people, feeling I was in the wrong when I have done nothing wrong."

She said in the statement that the guilty verdicts have enabled her to get on with her life.

Dickinson broke down in tears as he was led away to start a 12 month prison sentence and could be heard sobbing behind the door at the back of the courtroom.

The court heard Dickinson had drank 20 cans of Fosters with his partner that night and headed to the house party after she went to bed.

He first targeted his victim by rubbing his exposed genitals against her in the kitchen, leaving her "shocked".

Later, Dickinson exposed himself again and started performing a sex act while looking at her.

The second sex assault involved him grabbing at her private parts while she was talking to another guest.

His third and final sex assault involved him putting his hand down the back of her clothing and touching her underwear.

Judge Paul Sloan QC told Dickinson: "She spoke of being wary of going into the South Shields area for fear she may meet you by chance.

"In a further statement she said she had changed from a bubbly person to someone who hates going out, prefers staying in.

"She was obviously distressed as a result of having to go through it all over again.

"She speaks of having lost her confidence."

Dickinson has previous convictions involving drugs and being drunk and disorderly but nothing for sex offences or violence.

The judge told him: "You have yet to acknowledge your offending on the night in question, let alone show insight into the harm you have caused.

"It was, in reality, a sustained incident involved repeated offending, aggravated by the fact you were under the influence of a cocktail of drink and drugs."

Graeme Cook, defending, said Dickinson has been drinking in moderation and has not taken drugs since that night.

Mr Cook said Dickinson, who was sacked after being convicted, has plans to start his own business.

Mr Cook added: "It is quite clear the problem in his life is drink and drugs, that appears to be the cause of this offending and the cause of a lot of problems in his life."