An Exmouth man who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at a party has been given a two-year suspended jail sentence.

The girl had passed out after drinking too much and had been put to bed.

Student Callum Tose, who was also 16 at the time, went into the room and stripped off her lower clothing as she lay unconscious.

He has admitted assault by penetration.

The incident happened at a party hosted by the victim at her home on the eve of the second Covid lockdown in 2020, and left her with such serious psychological trauma that she has since attempted suicide.

She wrote a moving personal statement in which she said that she can no longer sleep in the room where she was attacked and that the trauma has robbed her of a normal transition into adulthood.

She said she no longer feels safe in the house where she grew up and is frightened of going out in case she meets Tose. She said she had walked to cliffs near her home with the intention of taking her life earlier this year but had been followed by her mother, who talked her out of it.

In addition to the two-year suspended sentence Tose, now 19, of Madeira Villas, Exmouth, has been ordered to do 55 days of rehabilitation activities and 150 hours of unpaid community work, and told he may be barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Judge Neil Davey, KC, at Exeter Crown Court, told Tose: “The victim had far too much to drink, to the extent that she had to be helped to bed. While she lay there, almost entirely insensible and barely capable of movement, you took advantage of her.

“She had no sexual interest in you and never had done. You were simply a trusted friend and she was completely vulnerable. It is clear from her personal statement that she has suffered severe psychological harm which is long lasting and deep seated.”

Mr Rupert Taylor, defending, said Tose had not been responsible for the girl getting drunk and has expressed true remorse, grown up, acted responsibly and stayed out of trouble in the three years since the offence.