A MAN has been jailed for 10 months after he groped a woman in the female toilets of a fast-food restaurant in Chester.

Roman Lukawczyk, 43, claims he was so drunk and high he could not remember the incident, which took place at Burger King on Foregate Street last month.

But faced with the evidence against him he “had the courage to own up” and pleaded guilty to sexual assault, defence barrister Mark Le Brocq told Chester Crown Court today.

Arguing for a less severe sentence, Mr Le Brocq claimed the victim, who is in her forties, could not be classed as vulnerable as she chased Lukawczyk down the street, punched him to the floor and repeatedly kicked him in the head.

The defendant now suffers regular nosebleeds and believes his nose may have been broken, the court heard.

However, Judge Simon Berkson said the woman had been vulnerable due to the circumstances she found herself in when the attack took place.

He told Lukawczyk that only a sentence of immediate custody was appropriate.

“She was a lone woman in the toilet of a burger restaurant, going about her business, when you, high on drugs and drink, invaded that very personal space and touched her,” the judge said.

“This was, in my judgement, a terrible crime committed against a person who at the time was particularly vulnerable as a victim.”

Lukawczyk, of no fixed abode, will have to serve at least half of the 10-month sentence in custody and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The court heard that the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was in the city centre with her family at around midnight and had gone to the loo while their food was being prepared.

She sat down on the toilet, only to look up and see Lukawczyk, who grabbed her breasts and thighs before she had chance to slam the cubicle door shut.

Mandy Nepal, prosecuting, said the woman then managed to close the door and soon after ventured back into the restaurant and told her husband what had happened.

They then followed Lukawczyk down the street before the woman lashed out at him, causing him to fall to the floor.

A security guard at the nearby McDonald’s restaurant reported seeing her kick the defendant repeatedly before he pulled her away and calmed the situation.

Lukawczyk walked off but was monitored by CCTV and arrested by police officers soon after.

In his police interview he denied any sexual assault but admitted he had been drinking and had taken so-called ‘legal high’ Spice. Just two days later he pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Mr Le Brocq, defending, told the court: “It is an offence he doesn’t even remember committing unfortunately because of the amount of drink he had. He has had the courage to own up to it because of the evidence against him.”

Referring to the statement by the McDonald’s security guard, he added: “What’s described there is clearly an attack. He still suffers regular nosebleeds as a result.

“It appears [the complainant] is not only able to defend herself, she’s able to retaliate to quite some degree. The defence do not believe she is particularly vulnerable.”

Summarising a victim impact statement, Miss Nepal told the court: “[The woman] gets quite anxious when out shopping on her own, hoping she doesn’t have to use the bathroom while she’s out, feeling that this could happen again.”