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'You simply could not resist' Fury at judge's comments on convicted rapist


A British man who was sentenced to five years in prison for raping a woman who fell asleep on his sofa, was described by the judge as "not the type who goes searching for a woman to rape" and that he "just lost control of normal restraint".

Lee Setford, a 29-year-old brick layer from Hull, was found guilty of raping a woman who had fallen asleep on his sofa after visiting his home in Beverley with a female friend following a night out in February.

The prosecution told jurors how the victim remembers being sick in the bathroom, but then her memory is "blank". She then recalled waking up and finding Setford was having sex with her.

Jurors took two and a half hours to unanimously conclude Setford was guilty of rape in the trial last week, but upon sentencing him Judge Mettyear said, "I do not regard you as a classic rapist. I do not think you are a general danger to strangers.

"You are not the type who goes searching for a woman to rape. This was a case where you just lost control of normal restraint," continued the judge.

"It was almost out of the blue that two girls turned up late at night, very, very drunk, at your home.

"The victim was the worst for drink out of the two of them. She was completely out of it. I accept that evidence.

"She was a pretty girl who you fancied. You simply could not resist. You had sex with her."

Speaking about the victim, the judge added, "She was clearly upset at the time. The consequences continued. She was unable to work for a while. She has had to take anti-depressants. She has lost her cheerfulness and outgoing spirit."

"It is a great shame you did not have the courage to say, 'I have made a terrible mistake and I am sorry'. That would have made it much easier for her and I could have passed a lighter sentence," concluded the judge.

The comments have sparked an outrage on Twitter, where the judge's words have been described as "horrendous", "ignorant" and "shocking".

Setford, who has previously been convicted for battery - a criminal offense involving unlawful physical contact - was told he must serve half of his five-year sentence before he can be considered for release on licence, with conditions, including not contacting, directly or indirectly, his victim.

He must also register as a sex offender for an "indeterminate" period.

(Words: Sejal Kapadia, Images: Rex Features)



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