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Rapist Stuart Ripley facing sentence after tying up and gagging woman before brutal sexual assault in Ramsgate

By Sian Napier

A man has today been convicted of brutally raping a woman in Ramsgate after first tying her hands behind her back and gagging her.

A jury at Canterbury Crown Court found Stuart Ripley, 31, guilty of two rapes and one sexual assault on the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons. They acquitted him of a second sexual assault.

Judge Adele Williams adjourned sentencing until September 19 for reports to be prepared. Ripley was remanded in custody.

Canterbury Crown Court
Canterbury Crown Court

Ripley, who lives in London, had denied all four charges. The attack happened in February.

In a taped police interview played to the court, the victim said Ripley threw her down on a bed face forward, tied her hands behind her back with her scarf and gagged her with a sock.

He ripped up a pillow case and tied it round her mouth to keep the sock in place.

"I wanted to say you are hurting me but I couldn't because of the sock in my mouth," she said. "I could not see what he was doing but it hurt.

"I lay in bed crying and when I looked round I saw blood on the sheet. As I couldn't scream I just shut my eyes and wanted it to be over with. I thought I was going to die."

The victim said she had asked Ripley to stop several times because he was hurting her and she did not want to have sex with him.

"I said I had a boyfriend but he took no notice and raped me and sexually assaulted me," she said.

The victim said Ripley then forced her to have a bath with him and told her not to tell anyone about it otherwise he would kill her.

QEQM Hospital, Margate
QEQM Hospital, Margate

She said Ripley also punched her really hard which hurt a lot and not long after she experienced severe abdominal pain.

Ripley called an ambulance and she was taken to the Queen Mother hospital in Margate where she told her mother what had happened.

Eloise Marshall, prosecuting, said when interviewed by police Ripley, who lives in London, denied any sexual activity had taken place.

He said the victim had mixed him up with someone else. Later he changed his story and said he had had sex with her and she had consented to it all, even the tying up and gagging.

A medical examination showed the victim had internal and external injuries.

Giving evidence, Ripley said he enjoyed taking part in bondage - but only when it was consensual.

"I took a scarf and tied her wrists together. I got a pillow case and ripped it and put a sock in her mouth and loosely tied the pillow case round her mouth..." - defendant Stuart Ripley

He had tied up and gagged the woman because she had asked him to, he told jurors.

Ripley told the court he and the woman had consensual sex one afternoon. Later that evening, he said the woman put her hand down his jeans and he pushed her away and said 'no'.

"She stood up and took her belt off and pulled down her trousers and underwear and said spank me," Ripley told the jury.

"I checked that she really wanted this and she did, so I spanked her. I was gentle."

Ripley said the woman asked him to go to bed with her and they had sex and after that she asked him to tie her up.

"I was shocked at this," Ripley told the court. "I asked her if she was sure. I took a scarf and tied her wrists together. I got a pillow case and ripped it and put a sock in her mouth and loosely tied the pillow case round her mouth."

Ripley denied doing any of this against the woman's will. He said they then had sex and he untied her before they carried on having sex. He said at no stage did the woman ask him to stop.

He denied threatening her, punching her and inserting anything into her and said he knew nothing about a bag found by the victim's mother under a chair which contained a sock, pillow slip, condoms, a bottle of Southern Comfort, yellow plastic glove, bath scrunchie, baseball cap belonging to him and jogging bottoms belonging to the victim.

Cross examined by Eloise Marshall, prosecuting, Ripley, who lives in London, said the woman instigated the sex and he checked at each stage that she was consenting.

There was no room for any misunderstanding, he said.

But he admitted he had lied to the police when he was interviewed and told them that he and the victim had not had sex.

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