A former Oxford Brookes student who molested a sleeping man left in such a rush when he was confronted that he mistakenly put on his victim’s jeans.

Daniel Wareham, 26, who the evening before had had consensual sex with the victim at the end of a night out, later sent the man a series of messages apologising for his actions and emphasising the ‘deep shame and regret’ he felt.

“[I] genuinely hope you can see I’m so sorry,” he said – describing his decision to touch the man intimately without his consent as an ‘abhorrent mistake’. He claimed he had been ‘extremely drunk’ when he carried out the assault.

Sentencing the former Brookes student to 22 months imprisonment suspended for two years, Judge Ian Pringle KC referenced the string of messages.

“You texted him a number of times in the words that followed, apologising profusely for what you had done, realising you had made a most terrible mistake and you’d simply assumed he would be willing to engage in further sexual activity,” he said.

“That is a very dangerous assumption for every single person to make.”

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Earlier, prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson told Oxford Crown Court that the victim - also a student - had gone to sleep alone in his shared house but woke in the early hours of September 14, 2019, to find Wareham naked in his bed.

The defendant had managed to talk his way past the victim’s housemate, claiming he had been invited.

He stripped off his clothes and got into the victim’s bed. He was molesting his victim when the man woke, Mr Ward-Jackson said.

“He shouted at him to stop and pushed him off the bed. The defendant apologised. He hastily got dressed and he left the house. In his hurry, he put on the wrong jeans, putting on the pair belonging to [the victim].”

In text messages sent to his victim the following day, he said he felt ‘bad’ and wanted to ‘rectify the situation ASAP’ as he felt they were becoming friends. He told his victim he could help him ‘branch out and network’.

Wareham, formerly of Southfield Road, Oxford, but now living in London, pleaded guilty on the day of his trial in October to sexual assault by penetration. His plea was entered on a basis.

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In mitigation, Wareham was said to feel ‘remorse, regret and shame’ about the incident.

As a result of publicity following his plea, he had lost his job and had had to tell family and friends about the conviction.

Being placed on the sex offender register may mean he and his partner were unable to start a family together, the judge was told. He had had to give up his hobby - shooting - as the club took a zero tolerance approach to convictions.

Half a dozen references spoke of his positive character. He had no previous convictions.

As part of his suspended sentence, Wareham must complete an accredited sex offender rehabilitation programme and up to 15 rehabilitation activity requirement sessions with the probation service. He will be on the sex offender register for 10 years.

In a parting shot, Judge Pringle told him: “This is the first time you’ve appeared in any criminal court. Make sure it is the last.”

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward