A footballer who carried out a sex attack on a sleeping woman has been jailed for two years.
Salim Kouider-Aïssa, 27, attacked the 23-year-old at a flat in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, on October 31, 2021.
The Airdrie forward stripped to his boxers in bed and touched the woman inappropriately.
Kouider-Aïssa claimed that went into the bed to “get a good sleep” and believed the woman was awake.
The victim told a jury about the horrific attack hours before Kouider-Aïssa was named in the Airdrie squad for their crunch promotion play-off match against Hamilton Accies in May.
They sacked Kouider-Aïssa after he was convicted at Glasgow Sheriff Court for sexual assault.
Sheriff Matthew Jackson KC said: “Prior to this conviction you held a position that many can only dream of.
“That position, status and reward is now lost to you and you recognise that.
“These are lost to you because of the decision you took that morning.
“I recognise your defence has been eloquently put by your lawyer that you were someone who had the reasonable belief she was consenting.
“That defence was rejected by the jury and it is not difficult to understand why.
“She woke up to find herself being sexually assaulted by a man she barely knew in a horrific fashion.
“You stand convicted of this horrible serious offence.
“I’m satisfied there is not alternative to a custodial sentence.”
The first offender, of Kirkintilloch, was also put on the sex offenders register for ten years.
The woman told the court that she met Kouider-Aïssa at a friend’s flat after a night out.
She went to a spare bedroom alone at 5am with Kouider-Aïssa warned by a friend to stay in the living room.
Prosecutor Mark Allan asked the woman for her next memory.
She said: “I woke up and I could feel someone behind me, that’s when I realised what he was doing.”
Mr Allan asked who was behind her.
She replied: “Salim.”
The woman described that Kouider-Aïssa intimately touched her.
She added: “I woke up really shocked, I went into bed myself and was shocked to have someone behind me.
“I was shouting ‘what are you doing’ and he said ‘I thought you were awake, what have I done’.
“It wouldn’t matter if I was as there was no consent.”
The woman added that Kouider-Aïssa “knew he was going to get himself into so much trouble.”
She stated that Kouider-Aïssa left the flat and that she phoned the police around lunchtime to report the matter.
Mr Allan asked how that morning made her feel for the days and months that followed.
The woman replied: “Horrendous, so anxious about everything, it is so horrible that someone could do that to you.”
Kouider-Aïssa told jurors in his evidence that he was not able to get comfortable sleeping on the couch.
He stated that he went into the bed “to get a good sleep” and lay beside her.
Kouider-Aïssa claimed he removed his clothes as he was hot during the night.
He admitted rubbing the woman’s leg and kissing her neck.
The footballer added that he went on to carry out a sex act on her stating: “I had belief she was consenting by the way she was moving about the bed, moving her body to me.”
Kouider-Aïssa now believes the woman was asleep due to hearing her evidence through the criminal process.
After the woman confronted him in bed, Kouider-Aïssa told a friend: “I’ve f****d it, I thought she was awake.”
Kouider-Aïssa was escorted out of the flat and was picked up by team mate Max Currie who took them to training.
The attacker then handed himself into police later that day after watching a football match with his uncle.
Graeme Brown, defending, told the sentencing: “His profession as a professional football player was terminated upon his conviction.
“Because of this conviction, it will be extremely unlikely that he will be able to play football at that level again.”