5th Dec, 2016

Man who raped drunken woman in Stratford hotel jailed

Stratford Editorial 18th Aug, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A MAN who raped a drunken woman in his room while he was attending a freight company function at a Stratford hotel has been jailed for four years.

Michael Whitehead had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to raping the woman at the Holiday Inn hotel back in 2014.

But after deliberating for more than seven hours over two days, the jury found him guilty.

Jailing the 44 year-old, of Welford Road, South Kilworth, Lutterworth, Recorder Peter Cooke also ordered him to register as a sex offender for life.

The court heard the offences took place in 2014 while Whitehead, who worked for the international freight and logistics company Kuehne & Nagle, was attending a company function at the Holiday Inn.

Prosecutor Anthony Potter said: “The prosecution say Mr Whitehead cynically took advantage of the complainant, a woman who was so drunk she had been sick.

“He took her to his room and, having sexually assaulted her, the prosecution say he raped her.”

Mr Potter explained Whitehead was there for a company seminar which was followed by a social get-together, and he was therefore staying at the hotel overnight.

The woman recalled being in the bar of the hotel that evening before having a meal and returning to the bar where she had several more drinks.

Although she could not recall how much she had to drink, the woman, who had ‘fallen into conversation’ with Whitehead, was sick when they then went outside.

And when they came back in, she was sick again in the foyer, near to the lifts, although she had little memory of that.

The next thing she recalled was being in a bedroom on the bed, and then Whitehead on top of her – making what she described as ‘ horrible noises’, and wanting him to stop.

She drifted in and out of consciousness and woke up in the morning naked.

When she asked Whitehead what had gone on he became defensive. He started asking her what she could remember and said they should talk, but she left, and later contacted the police.

Whitehead claimed the woman had become amorous towards him, and that the sexual activity between them had been fully consensual.