Neil Bell – Salterbeck, Workington

Rapist who had sex with victim while she slept. 

A rapist who had sex with his drunk and vulnerable victim as she slept has been jailed for seven years.

When the woman later realised what had happened and Neil Bell was prosecuted, he tried to persuade the jury that she had been a willing sexual partner but he was unanimously convicted.

The 52-year-old defendant, of Walls Road, Salterbeck, Workington, showed no emotion as he was led away from the dock at Carlisle Crown Court to start his sentence.

In court, Judge Peter Davies was told of the devastating “massive emotional” effect on the woman, who had been left feeling like a shadow of the person she used to be and constantly dwelling on what happened.

During his trial, the court heard how Bell had encouraged his victim to drink heavily on the day of the rape – October 17, 2015.

At one stage, the jury heard, Bell tried to kiss the woman, who pulled away. “She made it crystal clear that she did not want to have sexual intercourse with him,” prosecutor Peter Horgan told the jury.

After drinking eight or nine cans of alcohol, the woman fell asleep on a sofa and was later woken by Bell. Only later did she realise that she had been raped while had been sleeping.

She reported it to the police after telling her family what happened.

The trial heard how before attacking her Bell sent her a text message about her plans to drink, saying: “Get it down your neck.”

Kim Whittlestone, for Bell, said he had not spiked her drinks or forced her to drink alcohol. The barrister said: “He’s a man of 52, and of previous good character.” She said there was no evidence to suggest he was aggressive.

In poor health and walking with the aid of crutches, he felt daunted by the lengthy sentence that he faced.

Addressing the defendant, Judge Davies said: “I am satisfied that you intended to have sexual intercourse with or without her agreement… You persuaded her to have more alcohol.

“When she fell asleep, incapacitated by… intoxicants, you removed her clothes and raped her.” The judge added that the defendant, who denied rape, had shown no remorse.

Bell will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely. He will also be barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.


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