July 2023

West Oxfordshire man jailed for raping woman he met at pub

A man who raped a woman he met on a night out has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years.

Joseph Faulkner, 40, had claimed during his trial that any sexual activity with his victim had been consensual, but that they had not had sex as the amount of alcohol he had drunk impeded his biological functioning.

Jurors at Oxford Crown Court rejected his defence in May, convicting him of rape and two other counts of sexual assault.

In an impact statement read to his sentencing hearing by prosecutor Matthew Walsh on Thursday (July 27), the victim said she hoped the case would ensure Faulkner did not commit such a ‘horrific offence’ in the future.

She was also hopeful that she would now ‘finally be able to move forward with my life’.

Faulkner, of Park Close, North Leigh, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years by Judge Maria Lamb, who told him that he would serve two-thirds of that sentence behind bars before being eligible for release.

“That night I am satisfied your victim had made it plain to you on more than one occasion that she had no sexual interest in you whatsoever,” Judge Lamb said.

“Unfortunately, you took it upon yourself to take advantage of the situation which found you in the same quarters as [your victim] when she was ready to go to bed.

“I am quite sure, having reminded myself of the evidence, that she was either asleep or suffering the effects of alcohol and she is properly to be regarded on the [legal] authorities as particularly vulnerable due to her personal circumstances.”

The judge added: “Very significant harm has been suffered by your victim.”

The woman had been taking anti-depressant medication, there were repercussions with her then boyfriend, and it was said to have ‘spoilt her enjoyment of her pregnancies’, Judge Lamb said.

In May, jurors heard that the victim and the defendant met during a night out at the Woodman pub in North Leigh in 2019.

He returned with her to a flat, where he made advances towards her. She pretended to be asleep and even feigned snores in order to put Faulkner off, the court heard.

As a result of the jail term imposed, the defendant will remain on the sex offender register for life.