SEXUALLY assaulting a lone woman on a quiet Cowes road landed a man in jail.

Phillip Rooney, 41, of Highfield Road, Cowes, followed a woman along Love Lane and grabbed her bottom.

He was already on a suspended sentence for doing almost exactly the same thing and had recently completed a sex offenders course.

The woman he assaulted said he grabbed her with both hands and when confronted, he smirked at her and walked away, Russell Pyne, prosecuting, told Isle of Wight Crown Court at the sentencing today (Wednesday).

When first interviewed by police, he lied, saying he was at the gym when the assault happened, but later owned up to the offence and pleaded guilty in court.

He told police that he had been following her thinking about touching her and could not help himself, even though he knew she would not be consenting, Mr Pyne told the court.

In October last year, he was given an 18 month sentence suspended for two years for a similar assault in which he grabbed a woman's bottom near the same spot in Cowes.

For Rooney, Thomas Acworth said one of Rooney's close friends had died the day before this offence.

The court heard how Rooney had dysfunctional personality traits, including poor impulse control and was psychiatrically vulnerable.

Judge Richard Melville said: "She was a lone woman in a relatively isolated spot and you came up behind her and behaved in a frightening, disgraceful and worrying way.

"You have done this before and I have no doubt that you were warned that if you did this again you would have to face the consequences.

"You must now face up to those consequences. I have to think about the safety of women walking in the streets when people like you are around."

Judge Melville sentenced Rooney to 8 months in prison for the new offence and activated half of his suspended sentence, making a total of 17 months. Rooney will serve half that and then be released on licence.

He was already on the sex offenders register.