A VILE sexual deviant is behind bars after attacking his sleeping niece who was seven months pregnant at the time.

Richard Wallace spent days searching for uncle and niece pornography before he assaulted the 20-year-old woman who was asleep on her mum’s sofa after a girls’ night in.

Jemma Llewellyn has bravely waived her anonymity so that her uncle’s crimes can be reported.

Basildon Crown Court heard how Wallace was staying on his sister Sharon’s sofa while he was between homes.

Jemma, who is now 22, was visiting her mum for a catch up in Southend on June 19, 2016.

Prosecuting, Gareth Hughes said: “At. 2.30am, Jemma went to sleep. She was fully clothed and had a duvet. At about 4am, she woke up. Richard was crouched in front of her.”

Mr Hughes went on to describe how Jemma realised one hand was pulling her leggings down while the other was touching her intimate area.

Mr Hughes added: “As soon as Richard realised his niece was awake, he put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming or calling out.

“She tried to but his hand was over her mouth and he kept saying ‘please don’t tell your mum’.”

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Wallace only removed his hand when Jemma agreed to not make a sound. He then went to the kitchen before coming back into the room empty handed and returning to his bedroom.

In panic, Jemma fled the house and called her boyfriend who immediately went to confront Wallace but he was nowhere to be found. He was arrested at his place of work days later and initially denied one count of sexual assault. After examining his phone, police found searches for uncle and niece related porn had been carried out three days prior.

The matter was listed for trial but Wallace failed to attend and five days before a second trial finally pleaded guilty.

The court heard Jemma, who felt she had failed to protect her unborn child, now suffers with severe depression and anxiety.

Sentencing the 36-year-old, of no fixed address, recorder Charlotte Davies said: “Jemma should have felt safe in her mother’s house. It was your actions alone which have had a significant impact on her life.

“This was something you were thinking about and had been for some time but you took the opportunity when it arose.”

Wallace was jailed to three years and eight months, subject to conditions on release.