Man faces jail after ‘rape in his sleep’ claim

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A man who claimed he raped a woman in his sleep is facing a jail term.

Michael McAllister insisted to a jury that he suffered from sexsomnia - and a medical expert gave evidence on his behalf to say that such a condition did exist.

When arrested on suspicion of the attack, McAllister had told police: “It’s not the first time I have had sex with someone while I am asleep”.

The 23-year-old, of Sutton Place, Blackpool, had denied a charge of raping the 16-year-old girl following a New Year’s Eve party. He was convicted by a majority verdict at the end of a Preston Crown Court trial.

The victim and the defendant had been guests at the party last year, at an address on the Fylde coast where a number of people stayed over.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, told the court McAllister’s assertion that he engaged in sexual activity in his sleep was a “sham” and that the defendant had resorted to an “implausible explanation”.

The girl remembered drifting off and being half asleep and feeling someone get into bed with her. McAllister went on to touch her and then to have sex without her consent.

She was too scared and started to cry. But she didn’t know what to do and lay there shaking, said the prosecution.

She went on to try to get away, but he grabbed her and continued the attack. McAllister’s DNA was found, the court heard.

When arrested on suspicion of rape he told police: “It’s not the first time I have had sex with someone while I am asleep”.

He denied raping or having sexual contact with the girl. The defendant also told officers he had no recollection of what had happened between him going to sleep and waking up alone on a mattress. To his knowledge, nothing had happened.

McAllister also claimed that he had had sex previously in relationships, while he had been asleep and that it had happened a few times. When the DNA results were put to him, he could give no explanation.

In his evidence, McAllister insisted he had been completely unaware of anything happening. He was surprised to be kicked out of the address where the party had been held.

He claimed he suffered from a condition called sexsomnia and a Dr Chris Idzikowski gave evidence to the court to say such a condition existed.

The expert said the condition could still exist, even with McAllister speaking of having drunk significant amounts of martini and vodka.

The defendant also claimed to have sleep walked in the past and may have had sleep sex.

But the prosecution called a former partner who gave evidence to say the only thing she had noticed about his sleep behaviour was that he snored. The case has been adjourned to September 18 for sentencing, with a background report being compiled on McAllister by probation. He was bailed and told he faces custody. He must also sign the Sex Offender’s Register.