Man sentenced to eight years behind bars for rape
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A man has been sentenced to eight years behind bars after a jury found him guilty of raping a woman when he was 17-years-old.
Thomas Howells, now 19, of Salkeld Place, Chell Heath, was convicted in December last year and was sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on Friday (29 January).
The court heard how the victim was playing videogames with Howells and his friend during the afternoon of Tuesday 28 May 2019 before falling asleep on the sofa.
She awoke to find herself in the bedroom, dressed in different clothing.
The court heard that Howells then left the scene by taxi and the victim called the police a short time later.
Howells initially admitted in police interview that he had raped the victim, who he said could not consent because she was unconscious, but retracted this admission during the course of legal proceedings.
During the trial, the victim read out a statement in court which detailed the impact the crime continues to have on her life.
Along with his jail term, Howells has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Detective Inspector Zoe Kelsall, of the force’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) team, said: “I am pleased our specialist officers have been able to help secure this sentence, which we hope will bring some closure to the victim, who has shown great courage during the course of the trial.
“We take crimes of this nature very seriously as a force and would encourage anyone who believes they, or someone they know, may be a victim of sexual assault to get in touch with us.”
If you have been affected by sexual assault or rape, please contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency.