A 37-YEAR-OLD man sexually assaulted a girl as she screamed for help.

Raymond John followed the girl into a bedroom, turned off the light and shut the door before groping her, telling her to take her top off and forcing her on to the bed.

He was jailed for two years at Oxford Crown Court yesterday after admitting the attack in September.

Ian Hope, prosecuting, said the victim was with other children in a house, but no adults were present.

He said the teenager had gone upstairs and was telephoning a friend when John came into the bedroom and grabbed the phone.

Mr Hope said: “On two occasions she said she was forced face down on the covers with him holding her by the back of the neck. She said she was struggling to breathe.”

Mr Hope said John, of Crescent Road, Temple Cowley, Oxford, threatened his victim before running off when he was disturbed.

He said: “He forced her against the door and said ‘If you tell anyone I’ll kill you’.”

John left red marks on his victim’s neck, the court heard.

Darren Samat, defending, said gas fitter John was “extremely inebriated” after drinking Stella Artois lager and spirits that day.

Mr Samat said: “It was not planned or premeditated by him. It was drunk, abhorrent behaviour by him.”

But Judge Mary Jane Mowat, sentencing, said being drunk was no excuse and gave him the maximum sentence, despite his guilty plea.

She said to John: “You, aged 37, sexually attacked a girl.

“You started touching her and hugging her and telling her to take her top off and trying to take it off. You were fondling her.

“Fortunately you were disturbed.

“You had locked the door to the house. They heard the girl screaming.

“You threatened her not to tell anyone what had happened or you would kill her.”

She added: “A situation like this could really be regarded as a prelude to an attempted rape.”

John had admitted the charge of sexual activity with a child at a November hearing.

He will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.