A 25-year-old man has been found guilty of raping a woman at St. Helier marina, while she was incapable of consenting to sex - but the jury acquitted him of a second count of rape.
Mark Fernandes had maintained his innocence throughout the Royal Court trial.
The first count related to him raping the woman near the St. Helier marina, while the second related to an alleged rape at his home.
After just over seven hours of deliberation, the jury of seven men and four women - one juror having been discharged - returned an unanimous guilty verdict on the first count and unanimously acquitted Fernandes of the second one.
Pictured: Fernandes was found guilty of having raped the woman at St. Helier marina.
The prosecution case was that both sexual assaults had taken place when the woman was “incapable of consenting to any sexual intercourse because she was too drunk to do so."
In summing up, Crown Advocate Emma Hollywood said several people had seen in a matter of minutes how “incapable and drunk [the woman] was”, adding that CCTV footage of the night “objectively established how drunk she was."
She suggested Fernandes had taken advantage of the woman after finding himself alone with her.
The Crown Advocate also told the jury that Fernandes had lied about what had happened the following morning, “to avoid getting in trouble for non-consensual sex.”
Advocate Julian Gollop, defending, told the Jury that drunken consent was still consent, and that it was irrelevant whether someone regretted giving their consent later on.
The lawyer argued that CCTV footage of Fernandes and the woman showed “flirting” and a “connection” between the two.
He also said the woman had made “conscious movements and decisions” before and during sexual intercourse. “She may wish she hadn’t done it, but it doesn’t mean that at the time of those actions she wasn’t consenting,” he said.
The trial, which was conducted under the direction of Royal Court Commissioner Sir William Bailhache, had started last Wednesday.
As a result of his conviction, Fernandes has been added to the Sex Offenders‘ Register. The period for which his name will remain on the register will be decided when he is sentenced.
Fernandes will appear before the Royal Court on Friday for a sentencing date to be set. He has been remanded in custody in the meantime.
Acting Detective Inspector Christina MacLennan, head of the Serious Crime Unit said: “Although rape is a particularly serious offence to investigate, thankfully they remain a rare occurrence in Jersey. The States of Jersey Police have the utmost determination to investigate and prosecute allsexual offenders and we can assure victims that there is help available from a number of agencies who are in a position to offer support and guidance through all stages of the criminal justice process.
“The updated Sexual Offences (Jersey) Law, which came into force in 2018, provides greater protection for victims and clarifies the law on consent, particularly for cases involving alcohol or drugs.
“We remain committed to working with our partners, especially support and advocacy services such as the SARC at Dewberry House, JAAR and the Jersey Women’s Refuge, to encourage victims of sexual crime to report such incidents.”
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