A rapist who took advantage of a sleeping woman while her children were upstairs has been sentenced to five years behind bars.
Benjamin Mellor, aged 32, of Toppham Drive, Lowedges, had known his victim for about 16 years, and was even her postman at one point, but had not spoken to her for some time.
They began communicating again on Facebook in May 2013, and the pair eventually arranged to meet for a drink at her house.
While there he told her he ‘fancied’ the 28-year-old, but she told him she ‘only wanted to be friends’ and he nodded.
Mellor had been at her home for about an hour when she told him she felt tired, and fell asleep on the sofa, the court heard.
Prosecuting, Megan Rhys told the court: “She then awoke to find the defendant having sexual intercourse with her.
“Her jogging bottoms had been pulled down and, as soon as she realised what was happening, she jumped off the sofa and screamed for him to get out of her house.”
The court was told Mellor left, but returned briefly a few moments later, banging on the window to ask for his sunglasses, which he had forgotten.
The woman rang her ex-partner who then rang the police, the court heard.
Police found texts on Mellor’s phone to a friend bragging about what he had done.
The court heard Mellor later sent the victim a message entitled ‘Ever so sorry’ from a new Facebook account, which read, I am ever so sorry for what I did.
“I never meant to hurt anyone let alone you. I hope you can find forgiveness and, if I go down, I will have to cope with that’.
The court was told Mellor had a problem with binge drinking and had ‘shown regret and remorse for the pain he has caused’.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of rape.
But Judge Sarah Wright told him: “This must have had a very traumatic effect on the victim, that goes without saying.
“Your victim is a young woman.
“You have known her for a long time.
“You were friends on Facebook and at some stage you were her postman.
“She made it abundantly clear she had no sexual interest in you.
“Eventually, having had some alcohol and feeling tired, she fell asleep, assuming you would continue to watch TV or leave.
“But she woke up to find you raping her.
“You then had the cheek to return, banging on her window to ask for the return of your sunglasses.
“I have no doubt you caused untold damage to your victim.
“Her children were asleep upstairs.
“These events will leave a lasting effect on her for the rest of her life.”