A city centre pub landlord is on trial accused of a rape and three sexual assaults against a young woman who was drunk on his premises.
Benjamin Richard Iles, 31, licensee of The Marlbororough Arms in St John Street, Chester, has pleaded not guilty to all four charges alleged to have taken place on August 27, 2012.
Prosecutor Nicola Daley, opening the case at Liverpool Crown Court, claimed the 21-year-old alleged victim was too drunk to have consented to sexual activity.
Ms Daley said Iles, of Abbey Square, Chester, admitted having sex with the woman from the outset but told police she had instigated it and was fully consenting.
But she said: “At the time this occurred she didn't consent to it. Put simply, the prosecution say that she was so drunk that she was not in a position to be able to consent to it and the prosecution say this was obvious to the defendant.
“The prosecution say he must have known that she wasn’t consenting because whilst he was not that drunk, it was plain to see that she was.
“In terms, the prosecution say he took advantage of her, sexually assaulted her and raped her.”
Ms Daley said the only reason the detail about the sexual contact was known was because the defendant had told police. The alleged victim couldn’t remember.
The court heard the accused and accuser had known each other for about a year.
She had worked in a city centre bar and immediately before the alleged incident had been on her ‘leaving do’ as she prepared to go off to university.
After drinking ‘quite a lot’ at her old workplace, where she recalled dancing on the tables, she moved on to The Marlbororough and drank some more.
CCTV footage showed her ‘falling over, a bit like a rag doll’, said Ms Daley.
At about 7am the next day, the alleged victim was helped into a taxi by the defendant and a friend. Both went with her to the friend's house.
Ms Daley said: “She recalls waking up in the morning, having some vague recollection at some point of feeling somebody heavy on top of her. She says she's realised, because of how she felt, that somebody must have had sex with her.”
Police were called and saw her at 11.55am that day. Officers said she still appeared ‘very drunk’ and had her speech was slurred.
Tests revealed the alcohol in her blood was more than three times the legal drink-drive limit and some cocaine was detected.
When interviewed by police, Ms Daley said the defendant told officers the woman had been able to take herself to her friend’s bed. He had got into the bed with her. She put her leg over the top of his and they started kissing.
“At some stage thereafter she said ‘let’s do it’,” said Ms Daley, in summarising Iles’ version of events.
Judge Andrew Hatton told the jury of seven men and five women that cases of this nature ‘excite strong emotions’ but warned them to remain ‘calm and objective and dispassionate’.
The case continues.