Rapist’s appeal dismissed
A rapist jailed after forcing himself on a drug-affected woman has lost his appeal.
Josiah Colin Paerangi Beamsley’s bid to overturn his conviction was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, in a judgment released yesterday.
A Palmerston North jury found Beamsley guilty of sexual violation by rape and in January he was sentenced to eight years’ jail.
However, at his appeal hearing in Wellington last month it was argued that Judge Stephanie Edwards erred in not declaring a mistrial, and in giving an incorrect and unbalanced summary of the defence case.
Beamsley met his victim, who was then in her late-teens, on Facebook in December 2014.
They later met, with friends of Beamsley’s in January 2015, when they spent the night at Foxton. The woman and Beamsley had sex, but afterwards the woman told Beamsley’s female friend that she did not want to have sex with him again.
The next day, Beamsley, the woman, and three other people at the house smoked methamphetamine.
During the evening, the woman and Beamsley were alone in a shed on the property. The woman recalled being unconscious for a short time and woke to find Beamsley on top of her. The woman pretended to be asleep and did not participate in the sex.
Beamsley was acquitted of supplying methamphetamine, but a jury found him guilty of rape. Beamsley, however, appealed his conviction, arguing the judge did not declare a mistrial after the prosecutor suggested in his closing remarks that Beamsley had introduced the victim to methamphetamine.
His lawyer for the appeal, Liz Hall, argued the prosecutor used language that could have suggested Beamsley introduced the woman to drugs.
The appeal judges dismissed this, saying it was read in context and it was made clear that the victim had taken drugs voluntarily. There was no risk of a miscarriage of justice from the comments, they said.
Beamsley also appealed on the grounds Edwards had given an incorrect or unbalanced summary of the defence case. The Court of Appeal disagreed.