I woke up at party to my friends pensioner dad sexually assaulting me in bed

A student who'd fallen asleep at a house party was woken up by the feel of her friend's dad's beard as he was sexually assaulting her.

Nikitta Byrne, 26, went to a party in Penarth, Wales, with two friends in August 2020. There, she met 72-year-old Huw Thomas – the father of the hosts.

The two exchanged small talk with Nikitta complimenting Thomas' home. The next time Nikitta would see Thomas would be under the duvet attempting to get in between her legs.

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The predator had taken a cocktail of cocaine and cannabis at the gathering.

Waiving her anonymity, Nikitta 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 2 am 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 felt safe in that house and he took advantage."

The health and social care student added: "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."

In October 2022, Huw Thomas, of Cae Syr Dafydd, Canton, was found guilty of assault by penetration and sexual assault. He was sentenced to two years in prison in November 2022 and was made subject to the sex offender notification requirements for 10 years.

Nikitta added: “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.

“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."

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