A FATHER who raped and brutally beat a vulnerable woman in Chester city centre was jailed for 10 years.
At Manchester Crown Court on Friday, Mark Caunce, 22, of Victoria Road, Buckley, was told by Judge Nicholas Woodward he had left his then 29-year-old victim traumatised ‘physically, psychologically and emotionally’ by what he had done.
The former Queen Hotel chef only admitted the offences AFTER his victim had given her harrowing evidence at Chester Crown Court.
The court heard Caunce had originally denied rape and said the sex was consensual and someone else must have beaten her. On the eighth day of trial he admitted raping her and beating her afterwards.
In July, when he was due to be sentenced, he told the court he wished to change his plea, but this was later withdrawn.
His victim’s injuries included a broken nose, a fracture to the eye socket and cheekbone, multiple bruises to the head and face, a blow to the head, cuts inside her mouth and serious internal injuries.
David Potter, prosecuting, told the court Caunce’s victim had been out drinking on July 25, 2009, the evening of the attack.
He said: “Her condition over the following two hours deteriorated significantly. Towards 1am she was described as very drunk.”
He told the court witnesses described her eyes as closed and legs flailing, and a doorman told her friends to take her out of the club. Mr Potter said she was seen ‘supporting herself against a wall, her head between her legs’.
The court heard the two friends she was with both thought the other was looking after her, so she was left to walk towards Foregate Street alone.
At about the same time, Caunce left the Forest House in Love Street.
He and his victim were seen kissing by a student doctor, who told the court: “She looked incapable of forming reasoned consent to sexual intercourse.”
CCTV footage showed the pair walking through an alleyway together to behind Parker’s Buildings off Foregate Street, where the rape happened.
Mr Potter said: “It must have been obvious to him that she was incapable of giving consent.”
Caunce was seen running from the scene after 46 minutes. CCTV showed him running to Abbey Taxis, where he calmly waited for a taxi home.
The victim emerged 40 minutes after that and made her way to Abbey, clearly distressed and covered in blood, with her clothes in ruins. She was looked after by Abbey staff until an ambulance arrived to take her to hospital.
When the victim arrived at hospital she denied rape, but she soon realised she couldn’t remember anything that had happened to her that night.
Police investigated and Caunce was eventually arrested at his place of work.
Judge Woodward sentenced Caunce to six years in prison for the rape and four years for the grievous bodily harm.