An elderly woman was left terrified and hyperventilating last week when a man burst into the bedroom of her home in the town of Belfort, north-eastern France as she lay in bed.
She would have been forgiven for fearing her life was in danger but the intruder had only one thing on his mind and that was her feet.
The intoxicated foot fetishist immediately set about sniffing, licking and caressing the septugenarian's feet as she lay helpless in her flat, French daily Le Parisien reported.
Though she could barely breathe, the woman had the presence of mind to ask the man to retrieve her inhaler. Her attacker agreed and while he was away the lady used her mobile phone to call her family for help.
Hearing her on the phone with her relatives, the man fled though, stopping only to snatch a pair of her slippers on the way out.
He apparently then began to feel guilty for what he had done and called her the next day to apologize. He’d apparently been watching her for months and had already made off with another pair of her slippers. But his call led police back to the fetishist and he was subsequently arrested.
When officers searched the home of the alleged alcoholic, who lives alone, they found looted slippers, including one belonging to his ex-wife and 50 pornographic DVDs. The vast majority of the discs were devoted to foot fetishes.
When he went before a judge on Tuesday, he confessed to his love of feet, which he traced back to his childhood. But because the man already had a previous conviction for a sexual assault on an octogenarian the judge came down hard and slapped him with an 18 month sentence.
"The lack of treatment after his first conviction may have led to this offence," his lawyer Leandro Giagnolini told Le Parisien.