Man accused of sex assault believed woman ‘wanted something to happen’

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a sofa following a night out told a jury he believed the alleged victim “wanted something to happen”.

Thomas Lewis, 28, has denied assaulting the woman by penetration after a night out in Stowmarket in June 2017 while his girlfriend was asleep upstairs.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court on day three of his trial on Wednesday, Lewis, of School Avenue, Elmswell, said he had woken up alongside the alleged victim on the sofa in the early hours of the morning.

He told the jury he then began to rub her lower back over clothing before caressing her bottom, the court heard.

Lewis, a father-of-two, said the woman responded by moving closer towards him in a "wiggling motion", and he was sure she was awake.

After he touched her between the legs, the woman moved his hand away and he stopped what he was doing, Lewis told the jury.

He then received a call from his girlfriend, who was upstairs, within a minute of the alleged incident and went to see her.

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Asked by Steven Dyble, defending, if he thought the woman was consenting, Lewis replied: "Yes, I genuinely believed that she was enjoying it, and wanted to something to happen."

The court heard the woman had not said anything during the alleged incident and had not opened her eyes.

Under cross examination by Edward Renvoize, prosecuting, Lewis reiterated to the jury that he believed the woman was consenting.

"I honestly thought she was aroused, I would never have done it otherwise. It's not in my nature," he said.

Asked what his reaction was when the woman moved his hand away, Lewis replied: "She didn't say anything to me and I didn't say anything to her."

The court previously heard how the alleged victim told police she had "frozen" when she felt Lewis touching her.

She had then phoned a friend and asked her to pick her up before later contacting the police.

The court also heard character references for Lewis, who was described as a "kind and sincere young gentleman" who was a "loving and doting father" to his two children.

The jury is expected to start deliberations on Thursday following the judge's summing up.

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