‘Good Samaritan’ raped Preston woman out celebrating end of lockdown
Written by Skywave Radio News on December 2, 2021
A ‘Good Samaritan’ raped a woman who was out celebrating the end of lockdown after helping her back to her flat.
The victim, who is in her 20s, was ‘ridiculously off her head’ after knocking back at least four pints of strong beer at a pub in Preston city centre, a court heard.
John Geraghty had earlier spotted the woman collapsed and crying in the street and noted she was so intoxicated she was barely able to speak.
When members of the public tried to tend to her, he falsely told them: “I’m a friend, we know each other, you can go” before then fielding a call from her worried mother on her mobile phone.
Preston Crown Court heard how the victim’s family eventually arrived at her flat to find her naked and sobbing uncontrollably on the floor.
Geraghty had left the property just one minute earlier and was traced after leaving his phone number in the hope of him taking the victim, who is gay, out on a date.
The 40-year-old, who lives in Preston city centre, was jailed for six years and four months after admitting the attack on the woman at her flat in April.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she has been “unable to focus properly” since the attack.
In a statement, she said: “I am constantly reliving flashbacks of what happened to me. It’s the same flashback, waking up and seeing him on me.”
She added: “I cannot unwind and I am constantly on alert. I have also become anxious and distrusting of men who are not related to me.
“Before I was raped, I was focused and confident and was doing well at work. But now I have invasive thoughts of wondering how this could have happened to me. I was vulnerable and needed help – instead, a man who I did not know raped me and all I can think is what else he did to me.
“He took away my dignity and my rights as a human being. Words cannot explain how this makes me feel.”
She added: ‘’My biggest anxiety is he might remember my face or when he is released we could pass each other anywhere and I will have no idea who he is or what he looks like.
“The thought of not knowing my attacker causes me distress. I have considered being in court but I cannot face my rapist.”
The court heard that the victim had been at the Winckley Street Ale House with male friends since 1pm on the day of the attack to celebrate the lifting of Covid restrictions.
Alaric Bassano, prosecuting, said: ”Both were drinking Iron Brew sour beer, a drink of some alcoholic potency, and both found themselves getting drunk quickly, which surprised them both. They became separated and she then imposed herself on some others who were drinking there.
”They observed her to be extremely drunk and behaving erratically and were so concerned about her welfare they took steps to ensure she was taken safely home.”
The court heard that one witness described the victim as “lost, confused, incoherent and ridiculously off her head.”
She ”could not be trusted to get herself home and was delirious and uncontrollable”, Mr Bassano said.
After spending a total of five hours in the pub, the victim ran away was found crying on the floor outside and too drunk to even reveal where she lived.
She was said to have needed help to keep on her feet but then suddenly ran about in “a state of delirium”.
Another witness said: ”She was not making any sense, oscillating between hugging one man and then assaulting him. She was extremely drunk and emotional and was screaming on the street then crying. She was in no fit way to ger herself home”.
The regulars tried unsuccessfully to escort the victim back to her flat but shortly afterwards Geraghty found her stumbling around the street and falling over.
Mr Bassano told the court: ”He helped her to her feet and she had to be held up by him to prevent her falling into the road.
”A passerby asked whether she was alright but the defendant intervened and said: “I’m a friend, we know each other, you can go”. The woman’s mother then called her and the call was answered by someone identifying himself as “John”.
”In that call he said was very drunk and unable to stand up. Afterwards he walked her to her flat and was propping her up. If he had initially acted as a Good Samaritan, such charity was extremely short-lived.”
During the assault, the woman’s mother rang again only for Geraghty to answer and say she was asleep.
When the victim eventually answered the phone she said: “Something has happened” and her father and sisters dashed to the scene.
When arrested Geraghty admitted having sexual intercourse with the woman but tried to downplay the extent of her drunkenness. He claimed she initiated sexual activity with him.
In mitigation defence counsel Henry Blackshaw said: “On the day concerned, the complainant had drunk substantially – four pints of 7.5% craft beer on a relatively empty stomach. She was out celebrating after the lockdown had been lifted.
”The defendant himself went out drinking and had seven 500ml 7.5% ciders. He was not as intoxicated as the complainant but still someone who had his judgement blurred by it and perhaps his desires enhanced as well as seeing this girl through the lens of alcohol.
“She could only have had the most superficial of signs of being affectionate towards him. But instead of doing the responsible thing and stepping back to take her to the house safely, he carried on to have various sexual activity with her.
“He is horrified by what he has done and the nature of the offence. He fully appreciates he should have acted in a more responsible and considerate manner. He is full of regret of putting himself in custody and the distress he has caused his victim.”
Sentencing Geraghty, Judge Andrew Woolman told him: ”She had had far too much to drink and all witnesses describe her as being incredibly drunk and for some reason, you pretended to be her friend.
”I do not sentence you on the basis that you deliberately wanted to get into her flat and to take advantage of her – however, you should have realised she was beyond being able to give sexual consent.
”At that time, you perhaps did not realise the enormity of what you had done. But she was so drunk anyone would have realised she could not have consented.”
Geraghty was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register indefinitely.
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