A MAN who sent naked pictures of a woman to her friends after sexually assaulting her and pelting her home with eggs, has been placed on the sex offenders' register for five years.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Bradley Higson took revenge on the woman after he sexually touched her and she asked him to leave her home .

Mark Kellet, prosecuting, told how the woman had been drowsy after taking pain killers and had woken to find 28-year-old Higson in her bedroom.

He said: "She became aware that the defendant had pulled the bedding from her. He had also pulled her pyjama bottoms and underwear down to the top of the thighs and was touching her.

"When she realised what he was doing she told him to stop but he continued, albeit, momentarily."

Higson later sent threatening messages to the woman and her family.

"He pelted her house with eggs, causing her to remain at a relative's address," said Mr Kellet, who added that Higson also sent numerous photographs of her to her friends.

Higson, of Sheldon Close, Farnworth, pleaded guilty to sexual assault, harassment and disclosing sexual photographs without consent.

Maria Brannan, defending, stressed that Higson, who has a mental condition, possible autism and a "lack of worldly experience", leads an isolated life, only leaving home to pursue an interest in train spotting.

Sentencing Higson to a community order for 18 months with a 90 day electronic curfew and 25 days of rehabilitation activities, Judge Timothy Stead acknowledged the defendant has problems but said he was hopeful he will not offend again.

A restraining order was also made banning Higson from contacting his victim.

The judge told Higson: "You behaved very badly in this case. It was bad enough that you touched her in an intimate way without her consent but posting images of her naked and sending them to other people is a spiteful thing to do.

"But when I read about you in the pre-sentence report I don't think that it is necessary, in the interests of justice, for me to impose a custodial term."

He added: Hopefully all this will pass and you will go on to lead a happier and productive life."