Man raped sleeping woman after she let him stay home to avoid rainstorm
A rapist who assaulted a woman in her own home while her child was sleeping in the next room was sentenced to 10½ years in prison.
Matthew Cawston knew his victim and had visited her home to help with a domestic emergency, Preston Crown Court has learned.
However, once the job was done, the 27-year-old complained that he didn’t want to cycle home in the rain and asked if he could stay, according to Lancs Live.
Prosecutor Paul Treble said the woman agreed to let him sleep on the sofa, but made it clear to him that she didn’t want to have sex.
The woman went to bed and left Cawston on the sofa, but later woke up to find her pajama bottoms had been removed and Cawston was lying on top of her having sex.
In a statement, she told police she had “froze,” adding, “He was trying to be as gentle as possible and as quiet as possible so as not to wake me up.”
Cawston left the house the next day, leaving his victim unsure of how to deal with what had happened to him.
A few days later, she texted him asking, “Why did you do that? Did you sleep with me while I was sleeping?”
The accused replied, “I was excited. Sorry.” and asked her if she was going to report him.
The woman later told a college tutor and then the police.
Cawston, of Hoyle Close, Blackpool, was arrested and insisted he had never had sex with the woman without her consent.
However, he then pleaded guilty to rape.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said she suffered from nightmares and flashbacks and felt she had to move after the attack.
She no longer invites visitors to her house and does not feel safe when she goes out.
She said, “Because he was sexually frustrated, he completely destroyed my confidence in people and seriously affected my mental health.
“I will never be able to express in words the true effect this has had on me, my daughter and my family, and will continue to have for a very long time – maybe forever.”
Since the attack, she began to self-harm and asked her family who would take care of her daughter if anything happened to her, Mr Treble told court.
Barbara Webster, defending, said Cawston suffers from an autism spectrum disorder and receives support from a social worker.
Ms Webster said: “It doesn’t excuse what he did, but it does give some insight into his behavior.”
Sarah Armstrong, a social worker, said Cawston had “difficulty understanding the boundaries of relationships” and was “greatly exploited by people, both financially and materially, whom he considered friends.”
She said her team worked with the accused to identify positive behaviors and tighten the boundaries of personal safety.
When Ms. Webster spoke with the accused prior to the sentencing hearing, she read the victim impact statement to him and asked him what he thought about it.
Cawston replied, “I’m so, so sorry for what I’ve done.”
Sentencing Judge Sara Dodd said: “It is very clear to me that this offense has had a great impact on your victim…
“She described the feeling that her life is on hold and cannot move forward until justice is served. I also have to take into account that you are still a very young man and have no previous convictions. . Your own mental difficulties, your autism, no doubt played a big part in your offense. I accept that your remorse in this case is sincere. “
However, she said Cawston posed a very real risk to adult women with whom he had a relationship or friendship.
Judge Dodd sentenced Cawston to ten years and five months, including six years and five months in custody and a four-year extended license.
He sobbed as he was taken to the cells.