Tiverton huntsman John Norrish jailed for four years for party rape

A former huntmaster has been jailed for four years for raping a guest as he gave her a lift home following a ball.

John Norrish, 68, of East Worlington, near Tiverton denied rape but was found guilty by a jury.

The court heard he had sex with the woman, 33, in his car after she was too drunk to resist.

At Exeter Crown Court, the Tiverton Staghounds huntsman was sentenced and told by a judge his actions were a "grave abuse of a vulnerable woman".

'Passed out'

The court heard that Norrish offered the woman a lift home after the event in Chawleigh last July.

The victim told the jury: "He leaned across and tried to touch my neck and kiss my neck.

"I was just lying there, not making any noise. I was just scared and did not know what to do. I must have passed out.

"I was very drunk and it happened so fast. I asked him to stop and I thought he would. He was a strong man and I was not able to get him off."

'No consent'

She said she managed to get Norrish off her when the headlights of her husband's car appeared.

She ran to him sobbing and saying she had been raped, the court heard.

In his defence Norrish told the court the woman had been sober and knew what she was doing.

He said she made no objection to having sex and had invented her story because she did not want her husband finding out.

The judge, Mr Justice Field, told Norrish: "She did not consent to your advances. She made no protest for the reason, I am sure, she was too drunk to exercise a free capacity whether to consent or not."

He added: "The effect of what you did will endure for her for years to come."

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