Western Mail

‘I don’t know if I had sex with her’

- PHILIP DEWEY Reporter philip.dewey@walesonlin­e.co.uk

AMUSIC student raped a woman who had fallen asleep on his couch after a night out which left her “extremely drunk”, a court has heard.

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) student Benjamin Williams Stacey, 24, is accused of raping the woman in Cardiff in 2019.

It is alleged that he took advantage of the woman after she had passed out on his sofa at his student home in Cathays and had sexual intercours­e with her without her consent.

After the complainan­t, who has automatic lifelong anonymity, contacted the police the following day Williams Stacey was arrested and DNA samples were taken. A positive match was later found with DNA taken from the victim’s underwear.

When asked whether he had sexual intercours­e with the alleged victim he said “I don’t know”, and when asked if he thought the complainan­t was able to consent he said she was not. He denies rape.

A trial at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday heard that Williams Stacey had been a student at RWCMD for several years.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said the alleged incident took place on a night out which went from Cardiff city centre to a house in Cathays where the defendant lived and a number of people smoked cannabis in the garden.

In a video interview played to the court the complainan­t said she had drunk seven to eight pints of lager throughout the night, had been among those smoking cannabis in the garden, and described herself as being “extremely drunk”.

Mr Griffiths said the complainan­t came from the garden and sat on the sofa for some time before lying down. He said the complainan­t remembered falling asleep on the couch but woke when a man moved her legs apart, pushed her underwear to one side, and raped her.

“The episode lasted for five minutes and the male did not say anything,” said Mr Griffiths, adding that the male subsequent­ly left the room and went upstairs.

“She realised at that stage everyone had left the house and she was unable to see who it was because it was dark.”

Describing the alleged incident in her video interview, the complainan­t said she “just lay still” during the incident.

When asked the reason why she didn’t say anything during the incident, she said: “I was scared, I just wanted it to be over.”

She later called a friend and told her: “I think I’ve been raped.”

The complainan­t contacted the police at 1.30pm the next day and was interviewe­d and forensical­ly examined.

It was establishe­d that two men lived at the property where the alleged offence took place, and Williams Stacey was arrested and examined with DNA swabs taken.

A positive match was made with semen found on the complainan­t’s underwear which linked Williams Stacey to her forensical­ly.

In his police interview Williams Stacey said he was seven or eight out of 10 in terms of intoxicati­on at the start of the night but after smoking cannabis in the garden at his home he described himself as being 10 out of 10 in intoxicati­on and “in the worst state he had ever been in”.

He said he remembered being alone with the complainan­t when she was asleep on the couch in the living-room.

The defendant then recalled going upstairs to his own bedroom. While up there he said he could hear the complainan­t coughing and retching but when he got downstairs she had stopped. He said he got himself a glass of water and sat in the chair opposite the complainan­t. He then told police his next recollecti­on was waking up in his bed.

Williams Stacey was asked if he was the man who moved the complainan­t’s legs and had sexual intercours­e with her. He said he didn’t know.

When asked if he had sexual intercours­e with her or any sexual contact he said he didn’t know. He was also asked if he would be linked forensical­ly sexually to the alleged victim but again he said he didn’t know.

When asked if the complainan­t was in any condition to give consent to sexual intercours­e, he said she was not.

Williams Stacey denies rape and the trial continues.

 ?? Wales News Service ?? > Benjamin Williams Stacey
Wales News Service > Benjamin Williams Stacey

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