A MAN who sexually abused a woman who was sleeping on a city bus has been jailed.

Predator Antonio Sequeira waited for the packed Stagecoach bus to empty before sidling up to his 'vulnerable' victim.

The 34-year old, of Wycliff Road, Barton, then groped the passed-out woman and put his hands down her top during the depraved attack.

Sequeira appeared at Oxford Crown Court yesterday having already pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault on a woman.

Detailing events prosecutors said that the victim - who cannot be named for legal reasons - boarded the number 8 bus at Castle Street on the night of April 19.

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She sat near to the front of the bus, which was filled with passengers and which then made its way towards the Headington area.

It was here - near to Headington School - that Sequeira got on board and sat a couple of rows behind her on the opposite side.

By now the woman had fallen asleep and in CCTV footage shown to the court she is seen in a 'slumped' position, while a number of passengers look over in concern.

Approaching the Barton area and with all of the passengers now off the bus, Sequeira then moved over to the sleeping woman's seat and began his sexual attack on her.

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It was the sheer 'force' of the touching, prosecutors said, which caused her to wake up and then not long after she got off the bus at the wrong stop.

Sequeira then followed her out and continued his sexual assault on the woman, trying to put his hands in her bra and up her dress three times.

He was only deterred when the woman rang for help which caused Sequeira to flee the scene.

The court heard that the man was later identified following a media appeal regarding the assault and located at his work place where he worked as a prep-chef at The Alchemist.

In mitigation at the hearing his defence barrister Kellie Enever said that the attack by her client was not pre-meditated.

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She said: "I don't undermine or underplay the seriousness of the offence, this is a situation which actually is more opportunistic than anything else.

"He is a defendant who has ordered a bus, he didn't know she would be on that bus.

"This was an incident which was a short incident, thankfully not prolonged  in any way shape or form."

She added that her client - originally from East Timor - had contributed to society since he moved here more than 10 years ago.

Sentencing Judge Ian Pringle QC called the offence 'persistent' and said that he had to order an immediate jail term.

Sequeira was jailed for 12 months and must pay a victim surcharge.

He must also sign the sex offenders register for 10 years and because the jail term is at least 12 months he can be considered for deportation back to East Timor.