June 2021

Margate pervert sexually assaulted teen girl then claimed he had been sleepwalking

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

But Stewart Tollan, of Margate, later denied attacking the 16-year-old altogether, claiming she fabricated the allegation.

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

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.

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.

The jury took just one hour to unanimously convict Tollan, prompting his victim to describe how she was left wrought with trust issues, insomnia and “riddled with anxiety”.

“What he did was shape me into the person I never wanted to become. I never wanted to suffer depression – he did that to me,” she said.

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.

Asked what went through her mind mid-assault, she added: “Why is he doing this to me? Why me? Why is this happening?”

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.

“The defendant said he sleepwalks and this happened while he was sleepwalking,” prosecutor Daniel Stevenson explained.

“He said he sleepwalks a lot and has sleepwalked out of (his) house,” he added.

Tollan then dragged the girl through the courts, reducing the trial to his word against hers, arguing she was “mistaken.”

But Mr Stevenson revealed Tollan’s sordid past which centred on him grooming and having sex with two young girls as an adult, and harrassing another for intercourse in a graveyard.

Tollan was only convicted for the harassment in 2015.

Following his conviction on Thursday Tollan, represented by Allan Goh, could be seen bowing his head, gulping and taking deep breaths.

Judge Weekes told him to expect “at least four years” in prison when he is sentenced on September 17, as probation prepares reports into potential dangerousness.