Man sprayed herbal remedy on woman's face in hope of having sex with her

The case was heard at the Old Bailey
The case was heard at the Old Bailey

A would-be lover has walked free from court after he admitted spraying a lavender-infused herbal remedy in a woman's face in the hope it would make her have sex with him.

The woman was left "shocked" and "feared for her safety" when she woke in bed to find Gundogan Dursan had squirted liquid at her.

When she confronted him, Dursan, 47, would not say what was in the over-the-counter bottle which turned out to be a natural sleep aid infused with lavender, vetiver and wild camomile.

Police brought charges against the Turkish national, from Enfield, north London, after the woman told her therapist about the incident last summer.

During a hearing at the Old Bailey, Dursan pleaded guilty to common assault on the woman, who cannot be identified.

The prosecution accepted the plea and offered no evidence to the charge of administering a substance with intent to stupefy and overpower to engage in sexual activity, which he denied.

Dursan, who had no previous convictions, spent 11 days in jail ahead of the court case as well as 17 days on a tagged curfew.

He was handed a year-long community order with a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement plus a victim surcharge of £85.

Sentencing, Judge Stephen Kramer QC told him: "Had what you did been more serious, the court would have taken a different view - and a more serious view.

"Please do not trouble the criminal courts ever again."

Outlining the case, prosecutor Nick Wayne said: "At about 9.30am, (the woman) was in her bed sleeping and was awoken by a sensation of a liquid landing on her face.

"As she opened her eyes she saw Mr Dursan standing by her bed and it seemed to her he was trying to conceal something in his hand.

"(The woman) was shocked at being woken in this way and asked 'what are you doing' and she could feel wetness on her mouth and smell a substance and feared for her safety."

At first, Dursan claimed to be looking for something but eventually admitted spraying a liquid he bought from the chemist, although he did not say what it was.

Dursan later told police he had bought and used the spray, but denied that he had put it directly in the woman's face.

He admitted spraying the woman's pillow but denied any "malicious intentions", hoping only that she would have "long time sleep" so "she might have intercourse with me".

Mr Wayne said the product was freely available over the counter at chemists and was not the kind of substance that had any "powerful hypnotising" effect.

He said: "Whether it has any chemical impact in terms of improving sleep or whether its effects are as much psychological as anything else is unclear, but this is not a powerful hypnotising agent.

"It is very much a herbal remedy to assist relaxation as opposed to being the type of substance that could send somebody straight away to sleep."

Jobless father-of-three Dursan, who walks with a crutch, fled Turkey 17 years ago after being tortured by authorities for being the chairman of a Kurdish organisation, the court heard. He has since been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

In mitigation, Marie de Redman said: "He did not have any sinister intentions ... It was perhaps not the most sensible thing to do."

The defendant, who has since moved to Doncaster, in south Yorkshire, was assessed by a probation officer as having a low risk of offending in the future.