Jersey's Royal Court has warned that sexual assaults within a relationship are just as serious - if not more - than those committed by strangers, as it sentenced a man for raping his wife.
The comments from the Royal Court were made in an anonymised judgment explaining the reasons for sentencing an islander to four-and-a-half years in prison for the crime.
Sentencing took place in the Royal Court before Commissioner Sir William Bailhache, and Jurats Jerry Ramsden, Jane Ronge and Robert Christensen.
The Court heard the man had raped his wife on the last day of a holiday away from the island.
He accepted having had sexual intercourse, but maintained it had been fully consensual. He was eventually convicted following a jury trial.
Pictured: Crown Advocate Simon Thomas was prosecuting.
Summing up the facts, Crown Advocate Simon Thomas said the woman had repeatedly said ‘no’ and made it plain she did not consent.
“She said her fists were clenched and she was crying,” he told the Court. “Despite this, the Defendant carried on having sex with her until he ejaculated.”
Following the incident, the woman told friends her husband had raped her.
Advocate David Steenson, who was representing the man, highlighted his good character and presented a series of “fulsome” references from a range of family, friends and people he had encountered in his work.
Pictured: Advocate David Steenson was representing the defendant.
In the judgment setting out their reasons for imposing the four-and-a-half-year prison sentence, the Court noted that, while the man had denied the account, the jury’s verdict meant they had to sentence him on the basis that he either knew that she did not consent or he had no reasonable belief that she did.
The Court also noted that cases of marital or relationship rape were rare in Royal Court and such an offence committed against a spouse, partner or another person with whom there is a continuing relationship, can be “...just as or even more serious… as when committed by a stranger."
“If in the case of stranger rape there is likely to be added fear on the part of the victim that the offence might be worse than rape and end up as murder as well as increased concern about the risks of infection, the offence in the case of a relationship rape can sometimes be regarded as aggravated by a breach of trust - very damaging not just within the relationship in question but possibly to the ability of the victim to trust people in future relationships,” the Court added.
Pictured: “Rape within a relationship is still rape," the Court wrote.
“It is clear that rape within a relationship is still rape. When either partner says 'no' to sex, that should be an end to it.”
While the Court said the assault had not involved violence or threat of violence, they said it was “an abuse of the trust and intimacy which ought to exist within a relationship like this one”.
In addition to the prison sentence, the Court has ruled the man’s name should remain on the Sex Offender’s Register for at least five years.
They have also imposed a four-year restraining order preventing the man from contacting the victim either directly or indirectly, going with 50 metres of her or encouraging anyone to harass, alarm or distress her.
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.