Rugby man jailed for raping sleeping woman

Harvee Ashton-Lomax NNL-160711-154730001
Harvee Ashton-Lomax NNL-160711-154730001

When a man who had raped a young woman after she fell asleep while watching television at his Rugby home was arrested, he claimed at first that it was a malicious allegation.

But Harvee Ashton-Lomax finally admitted what he had done, and at Warwick Crown Court he pleaded guilty to raping her during the incident last year.

Ashton-Lomax, 21, of Turpin House, Dovedale Close, Rugby, was jailed for three years and two months and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Prosecutor Antonie Muller said that in October the woman, who was in her 20s, was at Ashton-Lomax’s home watching a programme, when she fell asleep. She woke to find him having sex with her, having pulled her clothing down while she was sleeping.

The woman told him to stop, but he did not desist straight away, only doing so after she had again told him to stop. As a result of what had happened she initially suffered a panic attack, then left and went to see her boyfriend.

She was so shaken that she was unable to tell him verbally what had happened to her, and could only do so by writing it down and showing it to him.

Mr Muller said in a statement the woman described the psychological effect the rape has had on her, and it has led to the breakdown of her relationship with her boyfriend.

Because of the traumatic effect it had had, she did not go to the police straight away, and did not report it until early this year.

When Ashton-Lomax was then arrested and interviewed he gave a prepared statement claiming it was a malicious allegation, added Mr Muller.

Martin Callery, defending, commented: “This is in many respects a tragic case for both of these young people.”

He said there was a reference in a report to Ashton-Lomax, who until then had never been in trouble of any kind, having difficulty remembering what took place.

“This was a wholly isolated and inexplicable offence. He is heartily and profoundly sorry for that which he did. All I can do on his behalf is to express his remorse.

“He has been, and remains, a very disturbed young man. He will inevitably face an immediate custodial sentence of some magnitude, but he is not a young man who will cope well in the custodial framework,” Mr Callery added.

Jailing Ashton-Lomax, Judge Stephen Eyre QC also made him subject to an indefinite restraining order banning him from having any contact with his victim.

He said: “Your behaviour has had a real impact on her. But I am prepared to accept this was not premeditated, but an opportunistic offence.”