A County Durham man in his 50s dragged a young woman upstairs and raped her
Robert James Barnett, a “virtual stranger” to everyone at a house party at his victim’s home, had been drinking vodka in the kitchen until the other guests had either left or fallen asleep before he struck.
He then dragged the woman up the stairs, stripped her naked in her bedroom and was about to rape her when she came to.
Durham Crown Court heard that although she protested and urged him to stop, he gripped her neck tightly, squeezed her neck, then grabbed her breasts and proceeded with the rape.
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When he stopped, the victim quickly changed into his pajamas, ran out of the house, and sought refuge with a relative nearby.
Paul Cleasby, prosecutor, said the defendant followed her and tried to get into the house, the victim being so afraid he would gain entry that she hid in a child’s bedroom.
Police were called and were soon on the scene to arrest Barnett, who was struggling with his detention.
Mr Cleasby said Barnett claimed he was only taking the woman to her bedside to help her due to her condition, but he did not comment when asked further questions.
The defendant, now 58, denied the allegations of rape and sexual assault and maintained his defense as a “good Samaritan” during his trial earlier this month.
However, he was found guilty on both counts and has been remanded in custody pending his hearing on Friday (May 19).
The court was read parts of the victim’s impact assessment, which said she moved home after the attack as she could no longer bear to live there.
She also quit her job in that area and moved to another location.
The victim stated that she found the trial difficult because she accidentally faced the accused during the trial.
Mr Cleasby said that should not have happened but it obviously upset the victim.
He told the court that the defendant must have been planning something as he stayed at the victim’s home for five hours until others either left or went to sleep before he took them upstairs.
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Chris Morrison said in mitigation that while there were two charges, they were both part of the same incident.
He denied that there had been a great deal of planning, claiming it was “more opportunistic than planned”.
Mr Morrison said: “He is a 58-year-old man with no history of offenses of this nature.
“He is in prison, in poor health and with a long history of poor mental health.”
Mr Morrison said the defendant has struggled in prison, where he is on medication for anxiety and depression, while also being a type 2 diabetic, all of which “took a toll on him”.
Judge James Adkin told Barnett he was “uninvited” at the home of the woman, then a man in his 50s, amid a gathering made up mostly of teenagers.
He said the jury apparently did not believe the defendant’s claim at his trial that he had merely assaulted the woman.
“You were an intruder in her house, you were never invited to the party and you choked her while you raped her.
“Despite her apparent irritation, you continued to rape her.
“I think there was significant planning.
“I am of the opinion that when the party died down you thought you were going to take your chance, drag her upstairs and rape her.”
* County Durham sex offender back behind bars on court offence
* In Durham, prison sentences were handed down to six offenders in separate cases
* The County Durham perpetrator had “embedded” sexual interest in young women.
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Judge Adkin imposed a 12-year sentence, two-thirds of which the defendant must serve before being released on license.
He registered the defendant from Gore Hill Estate, Thornley, County Durham as a sex offender for life.
Judge Adkin also issued a life restraining order barnett from contacting or approaching the rape victim.
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23536358.county-durham-man-50s-dragged-young-woman-upstairs-raped/?ref=rss A County Durham man in his 50s dragged a young woman upstairs and raped her