A rapist who assaulted his victim when she fell asleep on her sofa has been jailed for his ‘reprehensible’ attack.

Stephen Farmer admitted taking advantage of the woman’s vulnerable position when she confronted him about his behaviour after she woke up to find him gone.

The victim became suspicious when she awoke to find her bra had been undone and the 31-year-old was nowhere to be seen.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the victim was attacked in her own home and had been left feeling suicidal and vulnerable.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said Farmer told his victim that he had undone her bra as she was having a fit and, in another message, he admitted having sex with her while she slept but stopped when she didn’t wake up.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she no longer feels safe in her home and no longer trusts her own judgement.

She added: “I feel violated and dirty by what he has done to me.”

The Northern Echo: Stephen FarmerStephen Farmer (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Farmer, of Bruce Glazier Terrace, Shotton Colliery, County Durham, pleaded guilty to rape as a result of his assault on November 12, 2021.

Rupert Doswell, mitigating, said: “He had a genuine belief at the time that he had consent – it was a genuine but flawed belief that she had consented to the sexual activity.”

Judge Jonathan Carroll branded Farmer’s actions as ‘reprehensible’ as he jailed him for five years and seven months.

He said: “She was shattered and just fell asleep, a perfectly innocent thing to do in her own home – what you did to her was reprehensible.

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The Northern Echo:

“She woke up and her bra was unfastened, she was immediately suspicious, she challenged you and you admitted you had sex with her.

“You put your desires ahead of her wellbeing and welfare. I’m sure you thought she wouldn’t mind.

“Well, she did mind and it has had a devastating impact on her. The level of harm your selfishness imposed on her was catastrophic.”

Farmer was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life and was made subject of an indefinite restraining order.