September 2014

‘Sleepwalk’ rapist jailed after attack

A rapist, who claimed to have a condition which led him to have sex in his sleep, has been jailed for seven years.

Michael McAllister said he had no memory of raping a teenager girl after falling asleep following a party.

The 23-year-old claimed he suffered from a condition called sexsomnia and on several occasions in the past had had sex in his sleep.

A court heard he carried out a sex attack on a teenage girl who “froze” and lay there shaking with fear as he raped her.

When later arrested on suspicion of rape, McAllister responded: “It’s not the first time I’ve had sex with someone while I’m asleep”.

When he appeared at Preston Crown Court for sentencing yesterday, his barrister said McAllister, of Sutton Place, Blackpool, felt like a “monster”.

He claimed to have had sex in his sleep in the past, several times while in relationships.

He even called an expert to give evidence on his behalf, to say such a condition did exist.

But the prosecution produced evidence from a former girlfriend to say she had not noted anything odd about his sleeping, apart from his snoring.

Judge Heather Lloyd, handing down the prison term, told McAllister yesterday: “You used sexsomnia as an explanation and it was an excuse and a lie which the jury rejected. They were sure you had acted intentionally.”

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, had told the jury McAllister’s assertion he engaged in sexual activity in his sleep was a “sham”. He told the sentencing hearing yesterday: “This was an intentional taking advantage of the circumstances and being fully aware of what was happening”.

The victim, who had also been a guest at the Fylde party, recalled being half asleep and feeling someone get into bed with her.

McAllister went on to touch her and have sex without her consent. The teenager was too scared to do anything and started to cry.

McAllister told police when questioned he had no recollection of anything happening between him going to sleep and waking up alone on a mattress. To his knowledge, nothing had happened.

Judge Lloyd told McAllister as she passed sentence: “This is a terrible day for your family and friends who are supporting you in court”.

She added “The simple fact is you sought this girl out for sex when she was asleep and you raped her, so it is not that unusual a set of circumstances. “I accept had you been sober, you would not have behaved as you did, but most men, even in drink, do not sexually assault, let alone rape young women who are asleep.

“You are saddened by your conviction. “There doesn’t seem to me to be any particular remorse or insight or acknowledgement about what you have done and what has happened. “You know a custodial sentence is inevitable.

“It will be a substantial custodial sentence for someone who has never really been in trouble with the police before”.