A SEXUAL assault at Swindon’s A&E left a female asthma patient so terrified she suffered a panic attack.

The drunk attacker, who had been taken to hospital after a fall, was said to have touched his victim inappropriately as she sat helpless in an emergency department waiting room.

Romanian Lucaci Ioan-Ciprian whispered “sex, sex” at the pyjama-clad woman.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “When it happened I was scared, angry and I believed I was in a place of safety.”

Ioan-Ciprian, 39, of Percy Street, Swindon, pleaded guilty to sexual assault by intentionally touching a woman aged 16 when she did not consent and he did not reasonably believe that she was consenting.

Prosecuting, James Burnham said the woman had been admitted to A&E in late February after suffering an asthma attack at home.

She had been sat in a waiting area at the department late in the evening. There were two other patients nearby, but the seat next to her had been empty.

“The defendant was in a wheelchair. He appeared to the victim to be drunk, yelling, shouting, whistling at the nurses,” Mr Burnham said.

“He was told to be quiet, otherwise the police would be called. At that stage the defendant started to stare at the victim. He was yelling and whistling at her, trying to get her attention.

The defendant was staring at her own feet.”

Ioan-Ciprian came over and sat next to the woman in the vacant chair. He placed his hand on her left thigh, saying something his victim did not hear before slurring what sounded like “sex, sex”.

He rubbed his hand up the woman’s leg beneath her dressing gown, but did not touch her groin.

Mr Burnham said: “She was terrified. She did not want to cause a scene, so she pushed his hand away, saying leave me alone.

“A gentleman patient assisted by ushering the defendant away to his wheelchair, saying ‘sit back down.’”

The assault prompted the woman to suffer a panic attack: “She couldn’t breathe.”

In a witness impact statement, the woman said: ““I was so scared. I have never had something like this happen to me before."

Defending, Sam Arif said her client was extremely sorry and regretted the assault.

Ioan-Ciprian had been drinking that evening: “He stated in his interview that he had no recollection of what had happened in the A&E department, but he told the police he had no doubt about what the complainant and another female witness had said.

“He fully accepted responsibility and he also told the police he would like to apologise to the complainant for his behaviour.

“He tells me this is not the way he leads his day to day life.”

Magistrates adjourned the case to May 1 for a pre-sentence report. Ioan-Ciprian was awarded unconditional bail.