A VULNERABLE man with mental health problems was sexually assaulted by the Good Samaritan who let him into his flat after he had locked himself out.

Istar Lynch stroked, groped and aggressively abused his victim while he repeatedly protested and told him to stop, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

The man, who is supported by a community psychiatric nurse (CPN), was left in great distress and now suffered from nightmares, insomnia and low moods, prosecutor Jayne Beckett said.

Lynch, 24, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the man at his home in the Bradford area on January 23 last year.

The court heard that the man, who lived alone, returned to his flat from Airedale Hospital in the evening after suffering an accident. He was unable to open his front door with the key and contacted his landlord, Incommunities, who arranged for a locksmith to call round.

The man was waiting outside his flat when Lynch, a stranger to him, offered to help and managed to open the door, the court was told.

Once he had followed the man uninvited into his home, Lynch began stroking his shoulders and chest, Mrs Beckett said. He told him to stop but Lynch then asked him to go into the bedroom. When he refused, Lynch forcibly pulled down his jogging bottoms and aggressively sexually assaulted him.

“He was overpowered physically and overwhelmed,” Mrs Beckett told the court.

The door had been left ajar and the locksmith walked in to find the man distressed.

Lynch, formerly of Greenfield Crescent, Cullingworth, but now living at an address in Keighley, at first denied the offence.

Health professionals who look after the victim told the court he had been greatly affected and his condition had deteriorated.

Lynch’s barrister, Danielle Graham, said he was very remorseful and had no relevant previous convictions. He himself had mental health diffiuclties and had since sought help from his doctor. He was taking medication and waiting to see a specialist nurse.

Miss Graham said Lynch’s probation officer recommended a sentence in which he could seek help in the community because he would struggle in prison.

Judge David Hatton QC sentenced Lynch to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a 50-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He must obey a three-month curfew order from 9pm to 7am.

Lynch must also sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and Judge Hatton made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, also for ten years, barring him from having any unsupervised contact with people with mental health problems and physical or mental disabilities.