Long jail term for rape of drunk, sleeping teen

May 8, 2014 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-08A man’s breach of trust in raping and violating an 18-year-old woman who was sleeping off her heavy drinking at his Linwood house has drawn an eight-and-a-half year jail term.

Forty-five-year-old Tony Gordon Best had denied the offending but was found guilty by a jury at a Christchurch District Court trial in March.

Judge Alistair Garland said probation assessed him as having a lack of empathy with the victim, and posing a medium risk of further offending.

Best has been married three times and has six children. His latest marriage has ended because of this offending in 2012.

The trial heard that the girl was with a group that visited Best’s house and drank there. From the afternoon she drank about 15 cans of pre-mixed alcohol. Her friends became concerned about her intoxication and put her to bed on a mattress in the spare room about 10pm.

When others had left or gone to bed, Best proposed to the teenager’s boyfriend that they have a threesome, but the man refused and went to sleep.

Best then went into the spare room and had sex with the woman anyway. She told the jury of him having penetrated her with his fingers, raping her, and forcing her to perform oral sex. The trial was told that someone else heard her saying, “No. Stop it,” and “I’m trying to sleep.”

Best called her a “slut” while the rape was taking place.

The woman has had 18 months of counselling since the incident, with mixed success. She suffered from recurring nightmares, was now scared of men Best’s age, and was “not as happy and bubbly as she used to be”, the judge said.

Best had repeatedly stated that he believed the woman was consenting to the sex, but acknowledged his memory might be affected by alcohol.

Judge Garland said the offence was a serious breach of trust. She had been a guest and had been entitled to trust that she would be safe. She was vulnerable because she was drunk and asleep.

He said he could give Best no reduction for any guilty pleas, or contrition, or remorse, and jailed him for eight years six months.

Category: Focus

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