I fell asleep at a house party and woke up to my friend’s OAP dad sexually assaulting me in bed – I felt so violated | The Sun

A YOUNG woman who fell asleep in a spare room at a house party woke up to find her friend’s OAP dad sexually assaulting her.

Nikitta Byrne, 26, went to the party in Penarth, Wales, with two friends in August 2020, where she met Huw Thomas, 72, who was the father of the hosts.

After initially getting on with Thomas, she soon found him to be heavily intoxicated, as he had taken a cocktail of cocaine and cannabis at the gathering.

When Nikitta went to sleep later that night she awoke three hours later, to find Thomas in her bed.

After alerting the young man she was sleeping next to, ''vile'' Thomas fled the room.

She didn't see him again but was traumatised by the ordeal and confided in her friends as they left the following day.

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She called the police and Thomas was arrested later that day and admitted what he had done but told the cops it was consensual.

He was charged with assault by penetration and sexual assault in January 2021, but pleaded not guilty to both.

In October 2022, after a five-day trial at Cardiff Crown Court, Huw Thomas, of Cae Syr Dafydd, Canton, was found guilty by a jury of both charges.

He was sentenced to two years in prison in November 2022, at the same court.

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He was made subject to the sex offender notification requirements for 10 years.

Nikitta, a student from Cardiff, Wales, who has bravely waived her anonymity, said: "Up until everything happened, I probably would have come away with a lovely memory.

"It was a good party and good vibes, everyone was getting to know each other.

"We went to bed at 2am and I woke up quite sore, his beard woke me up because it was quite rough.

"As soon as I got into the car the day after I broke down in tears.

"I was so scared and felt so violated.

''He was an old man and my friend's dad.

I was so scared and felt so violated

''I felt safe in that house and he took advantage.''

During the initial stages of the party, which was being held in a ''large house with grand pictures on the wall'', the student had exchanged generic chit chat with Thomas.

After complimenting his home she went on to talk to others throughout the remainder of the evening.

At 5am, Nikitta went upstairs to sleep in one of the bedrooms of the house with a young man she'd met earlier in the evening.

The next time she saw Thomas he was under a duvet attempting to get in between her legs.

The health and social care student said: "I woke up and felt really dazed, I didn't realise the seriousness of what had just happened.

"I fell back to sleep and when I woke up I thought I knew I had to get out of there, I felt so unsafe.

"My friends had no idea what had happened, but as soon as I got in the car I broke down in tears.

"As soon as I got back to my mum's house we rang the police.

"She told me not to bath to try and save the evidence and at 9pm that night I went to a sexual health clinic for swabs.

"I was so scared.

"He was arrested the same day, and I went in for my police interview the day after.

"His account of events is mad, he said I'd called him over and patted on the bed.

''It was ridiculous, I barely knew him and was with a young man I actually fancied already.''

During the trial, Recorder John Philpotts said: "You drank alcohol, took cocaine and smoked cannabis.

"You entered a bedroom occupied by your victim.

''You claimed that what you had done was with the consent and instigation of your victim.

"It's clear you still refuse to accept your guilt."

I want to help other victims come forward, it's scary but so worthwhile

Nikkita said: "I have been OK, I've come to terms with it.

''I knew justice would prevail; his story was so ridiculous.

''I'm just trying to move on with my life.

''I want to help other victims come forward, it's scary but so worthwhile.

"I've just gone back to college to study social work, so I'm finding out about abuse.

"Then I'll go on to do my three-year course.

"It's something I'm familiar with in my adult life.

"Just as much as people helped me through my case, I want to do the same.

"Going through what I've been through and being so resilient I think I could help advise someone else, without going down a dark path.

"I'd even consider working with the SARCs (sexual abuse and rape clinic) in the future.

"The course has taught me a lot of coping mechanisms and ways to help other people.

"With what I've been through it's definitely an avenue I wanted to take anyway, but what happened to spurred me on to get out there and help other people."

Nikitta advises other victims like her to feel the emotions, "but take them on."

She said: "When you cry, cry it out, don't let it fester inside you.

"Try and focus on something good in my life, for me it's my daughter, she keeps me going.

"Whatever situation, it is not your fault.

"Just be wary of people, but keep your wits about you.

"Reach out to friends and family, and there are so many charities out there like Mind that can help."

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