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Margate paedophile Stewart Tollan who claimed he had been 'sleepwalking' when he attacked teen is jailed

A drink and drug-fuelled paedophile who molested his victim as she slept - then told police he “was probably sleepwalking” - has been jailed.

Stewart Tollan, of Margate, later denied attacking the teen altogether, claiming she fabricated the allegation.

Stewart Tollan, of St John's Crecent, Margate, has been jailed
Stewart Tollan, of St John's Crecent, Margate, has been jailed

The 39-year-old was convicted of sexual assault after a trial at Canterbury Crown Court earlier this year.

Today, Tollan was handed an extended sentence at the same court after a judge deemed him dangerous.

His brave victim told the hearing: “Every time I close my eyes to sleep at night I’m haunted.

“The trust issues that came with what he put me through were astronomical - I now expect the worst from people.

“I’m riddled with anxiety when I leave the house, when I hear his name it sends my mind into lockdown mode.

“I’m forever going to be that broken girl. I’m the broken girl who picked herself up from the bedrock to tell this story.”

Judge Mark Weekes told Tollan he was a “predatory paedophile” who “lied to the jury” and must expect at least four years in custody.

He saluted the girl’s strength and courage in confronting her abuser without a screen, as she gave evidence just six metres away during the trial.

The girl told jurors how she woke up with Tollan preying on her after she fell asleep in front of the television at a mutual acquaintance’s home, at 4am in 2019.

After freezing with fear she managed to flee the property once Tollan, who had been bingeing on alcohol and cocaine, fell asleep.

A jury took just one hour to unanimously convict Tollan at Canterbury Crown Court earlier this year
A jury took just one hour to unanimously convict Tollan at Canterbury Crown Court earlier this year

After sniffing six lines of cocaine and drinking about ten pints of cider alongside spirits, Tollan turned his attention to the sleeping girl.

She would go on to tell detectives how she “froze” and repeatedly asked herself “why me?” during the attack.

“I couldn’t make any noises, all I could do was slowly move and then I was frozen,” she said.

“When you are in that situation it’s different.

“You think you will punch him or think ‘I will get away’ - but you’ve got no control, you just freeze,” she continued.

Tollan, of St Johns Crescent, would go on to claim a sleeping disorder caused him to molest the girl but dropped the defence before trial.

Judge Mark Weekes told Tollan he was convicted on the “clearest and most compelling evidence”.

He added: “Two years on she suffers from panic, anxiety and insomnia - she says that your abuse has ruined her life.”

Judge Weekes commended the girls’ bravery, referring to her as bright and articulate, adding: “You could not and did not break her spirit.”

Allan Goh, mitigating, said Tollan had “woken up since stopping taking drugs and drinking alcohol” and taken steps to rehabilitate.

Tollan will serve two-thirds of his term before being considered for parole and a further three and a half years on extended licence.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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