Rapist struck as girl slept


A man who raped a sleeping young woman at a house party has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Preston Crown Court was told that the 17-year-old victim felt humiliated and cried herself to sleep at night over what Anthony Stinson had done.

The 21-year-old defendant, formerly of Derby Street, Clitheroe, had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to the rape, which took place at an address in the Clitheroe area last autumn.

The teenage girl had been invited to the house and had been drinking and chatting with others. Stinson had turned up at the party some time later.

Mr Nick Courtney (prosecuting) said the teenager had later gone to sleep, fully clothed, in the living room and woke to realise Stinson was on top of her. She jumped up, screamed and ran upstairs.

Her screams woke another female, but the defendant claimed he didn’t know what the matter was. The victim was found in a hysterical state and she immediately complained about what had happened.

Stinson denied this and complained to a police officer who was called to the scene. He was angry because of the allegation being made against him, said the prosecution.

He was arrested and interviewed, but denied rape, instead saying he was extremely angry at the allegation that there had been sexual activity of any kind, added Mr Courtney.

He told police that all the girls had been pretty drunk when he arrived and that they had carried on drinking afterwards. He also claimed the young woman had been “wobbling everywhere” and had just fallen asleep on the floor.

Asked if he thought she had made it up, he told police: “I think she is a very stupid little 16-year-old to be honest”.

However, as the investigation continued he finally admitted raping her, but suggested he couldn’t remember the incident properly.

In a victim personal statement, the teenager described feeling humiliated by what had happened. She often cries herself to sleep at night.

Stinson had seven previous offences on his record, though none for sex offences.

Miss Judith McCullough (defending) said he had been making constructive use of his time in prison since his remand into custody. He had been trying to come to terms with what he had done and to understand his position.

The defendant made a very full and frank admission in police interview, said Miss McCullough, but it was a matter of great regret and remorse that he had prevaricated, perhaps out of a degree of panic.

Miss McCullough told the court: “He takes full responsibility for this offence. His guilty plea is absolute and, in my submission, is genuine.

“He doesn’t seek to minimise his role. He doesn’t seek to blame the complainant in any way, quite the opposite. At least she didn’t have to give evidence and be cross-examined in court. He simply doesn’t know why he acted the way he did.”

Stinson had been on medication for depression and had a great deal of turmoil in his life at the time.

Miss McCullough added: “He is very sorry for what he did. He has now had plenty of time to think about what he did while in custody. His remorse is genuine and as such it will ensure he will not return before these courts again. This offence was wholly out of character for him. It has been his first term of imprisonment.”

Passing sentence, Judge Stuart Baker told Stinson that he had decided to take advantage of the young woman while she was asleep. The consequences for her were attributable to the defendant succumbing to what was his “urge and temptation” to take advantage of a young woman he knew was not in a position to know what he was doing until after he had started do do it, and was not in a position to protect herself from him.

“A substantial term of imprisonment must be imposed”, added the judge.

Stinson will also be placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.