Published: 00:00, 08 February 2007
A MAN who sexually assaulted a woman after her drink was spiked with Ecstasy has been jailed by a crown court judge.
Joseph Oliver launched the attack on the victim during a game of spin-the-bottle while she was almost incapable.
The judge told him: “You took advantage of her condition. It is hardly surprising no force was used. It was not necessary.”
The 27-year-old Sheppey woman, who cannot be identified, had spoken of feeling “very strange” after being encouraged to drink a glass of beer.
Maidstone Crown Court heard how, in the early hours of May 1, 2005, the woman and Oliver played the game using an aerosol can.
Christopher May, prosecuting, said the woman was having trouble understanding the rules and was not fully appreciating what was happening.
She was pushed back on to a sofa and Oliver, 31, from Eastling, near Faversham, then committed a sex act on her.
“She tried to push him away and, fortunately, that was as far as it seems to have gone,” said Mr May.
“She got up, grabbed her purse and phone and left. What was going through her mind from the way she was feeling was that her drink had been spiked. She was in a confused state.
“She felt she had been drugged and felt very different to the way she usually felt when affected by alcohol.”
Scientific tests revealed traces of Ecstasy in her body. “That was something she does not take and had not taken that evening,” said Mr May. There was also DNA evidence to link Oliver to the sex act.
Oliver, who denied sexual assault, did not give evidence.
The court heard how earlier in the day the woman had been drinking with a friend. She later went to a nightclub.
She left the club at 2.15am and went with others, including Oliver, to an address in Sittingbourne, where she used the toilet and then found that a beer had been poured for her.
They left the flat and went to an address in Faversham where they played the spin-the-bottle game and the offence was committed.
The court heard that Oliver was already serving a 28-month sentence for other offences. He had been in custody since July and was due for release in August.
Gordon Ross, defending, told Judge Michael Lawson: “He has a family and is anxious to get out at some stage and get on with his life.”
Mr Ross said the offence was not prolonged and no threats or violence were used. “This was a very quick, stupid act,” he said.
“He is anxious to put this behind him. It is terribly embarrassing.
“This is an unusual case with an unusual set of circumstances.”
The judge said the difficulty was reflecting the proper sentence for someone who had at the very least taken advantage of a woman he knew would be in a state because of a stupefying or overpowering drug.
Oliver was jailed for two-and-a-half years and will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.