A MAN who had sex with a woman while she was lying in bed unconscious after a drinking binge has been sent to prison for six years for rape.
Jonathan Wood, a 25-year-old self employed bricklayer, had pleaded not guilty, saying that though he did have sex with her in her flat in Kirkby Lonsdale, it was with her consent after she had been flirting with him in a pub earlier in the evening.
In August a jury at Carlisle Crown Court was discharged after failing to reach a verdict despite more than ten hours of deliberation.
But this week a different jury took little over 90 minutes to find him guilty after a retrial.
Afterwards Judge Paul Batty QC told him: "Some would say it was made worse by the fact you did what you did to her when she was in the state she was in."
The judge described it as an "outrageous" crime.
"She was in her own home - somewhere where she might have considered herself to be safe, but she was not," he said.
The court had heard how Wood, of Home Farm Close, Lancaster, went into the woman's flat, climbed into bed with her and had sex with her - all while she was in a drunken stupor after a girly night out.
At the start of the trial prosecuting counsel Robert Wyn Jones told the jury there was no dispute about the pair having sex.
The only thing they had to decide upon, he said, was whether Wood reasonably believed the woman – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – had consented to sex.
He said the woman had been “comatose” because of drink.
“On a scale of drunkenness from one to ten she was nine or perhaps even ten,” Mr Wyn Jones said.
The court heard that the incident happened after the victim had been literally carried home and put to bed by her friends following a night out.
Another woman who stayed in an adjacent bed, later saw Wood come into the room and get into bed with the victim.
After hearing “sexual sounds” she saw him get out of bed naked and leave, the court heard.
Wood said he had gone to the flat because the woman, who had previously willingly had sex with him in an alleyway beside a pub, had been flirting with him.
Once there, he said, he woke her up and she agreed to have sex with him.
The victim agreed she had had sex with Wood about a month before, but described it as “one stupid drunken night”.
She said she had not wanted him to have sex with her on the night of the rape.
“I was unconscious,” she said.
“He didn’t wake me up – I would have remembered.”
The court heard the rape had had "a profound affect" on her and her way of life.
She said her "whole life has been tipped upside down" and she had been "left to pick up the pieces".
She denied a suggestion by defence barrister Tim Evans that she had been chatting with Wood and touching him on the leg in the pub earlier that evening.
Wood will have to serve half the six–year sentence before being released on licence.
He will have to remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.