A male NHS worker allegedly sexually assaulted a stranger after meeting him outside a late night kebab shop in Barnstaple.

Ntokozo Zulu went back to his flat with the man after they had both been out clubbing and they drank vodka together before the alleged assault.

The other man told police he fell asleep while watching a video of Avatar and woke up to find Zulu performing a sex act on him and was initially frozen in panic.

He escaped by offering to reciprocate and then fleeing the flat when Zulu got up and started to remove his own trousers, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Zulu, aged 31, of Litchdon Street, Barnstaple, denies engaging in sexual activity without consent.

Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said the 23-year-old complainant had been out drinking at the Tavern pub and Fever club on the evening of July 13 last year and ended up at the Barum takeaway in Queen Street in the early hours of the next morning.

He met Zulu there and started talking. Zulu told him he came from South Africa and worked in the health service and they got chatting.

Mr Ticehurst said Zulu invited the man to his flat where he poured him a drink and they carried on talking while watching Avatar on his television.

He said: "The other man thought Zulu was trying to get closer to him and grabbed his leg as they spoke, which he did not think much of at the time.

"He says there was no conversation about anything sexual either in the flat or at the takeaway. He did not remember falling asleep but woke up on the floor with his trousers and underwear pulled down."

Mr Ticehurst told the court Zulu was over the top of the man performing the act.

He continued: "The man says Zulu had his hand on him and he pushed him away. He says Zulu was asking for just one kiss and he felt completely numb.

"He was shocked and anxious at finding himself in the situation and decided on a way to escape. He offered to reciprocate and when Zulu stood up, he pulled up his trousers and ran out of the flat."

The man was found curled up and very upset at his home at around 7 am that morning and the police were called. A swab from his penis was confirmed as containing Zulu's saliva by DNA.

Zulu told police he could not remember what happened but was sure he would never take part in any form of sexual activity without consent.

He said: "I would not have done that, I don't do that to people. It probably did happen because the evidence is there but I am not a person who would do that without consent.

"I was far gone with drink and it was probably a drunken misunderstanding."

The trial continues.