A man who broke into a home and seriously sexually assaulted a sleeping woman at knifepoint has been sentenced to more than 14 years behind bars.

Aryan Rashidi, 20, of no fixed address was jailed at Leeds Crown Court today after pleading guilty to committing a serious sexual offence in Wakefield in October 2016, as well as trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

He was sentenced to 14 years and seven months in total.

Police were called to a house near Wakefield city centre at about 2.08am on October 5, 2016, after it was reported a woman had been seriously sexual assaulted at knifepoint by a man who had climbed into her house through an open window.

The incident followed an earlier offence on 14 September in Bradford in which Rashidi broke into a property and awoke a sleeping woman present by tugging at her clothing, before fleeing when her husband work alongside her.

DCI Sue Jenkinson of Wakefield District Police, said: "It is no exaggeration to say that Rashidi is a highly dangerous individual.

"His actions in breaking into a property and seriously sexually assaulting a pregnant woman while she slept were predatory in the extreme.

“He also clearly showed sexual intent towards the female victim in the offence in Bradford and his actions must have been terrifying to everyone concerned.”

DS Tom Penistone, of Wakefield District Adult Safeguarding unit, added: “The woman who Rashidi so seriously assaulted showed amazing bravery through the criminal process and I wish to pay tribute to her.

“The fact that she has asked us to warn residents to make sure they properly secure their properties speaks volumes for her character.”

DCI Jenkinson added that speed had been of the essence to track Rashidi, who was unknown of officers, following the report of the Wakefield incident.

She said: “Following painstaking analysis Rashidi was captured on CCTV walking through Wakefield City Centre and officers located and arrested him from a hotel within 24 hours of the offence.

“Rashidi was due to leave the area later that morning and although forensic evidence was left at the scene he was not known to police in the UK.

"The actions of the investigation team in the first 24hrs resulted in a man not known in the area or on police systems being located and arrested,” she added.

Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, District Commander of Wakefield Police, said: "Rashidi was caught following after the serious sexual assault as a result of some very effective police work by officers investigating the incident.

“Their thoroughness and diligence helped catch a very dangerous man who was not known to us and was set to slip out of the area.

"Fortunately serious sexual offences such as those he committed are very rare within Wakefield District which remains one of the safest parts of West Yorkshire as a whole.

"When sexual offences do take place, officers seek to treat victims with the utmost care and sensitivity."