South West Wales

'Sexsomnia' sufferer in Pembroke Dock cleared of rape

A Pembroke Dock man accused of raping a teenage girl has been cleared.

Stephen Lee Davies, 43, had been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl staying at his home.

During the trial, Swansea Crown Court heard Mr Davies suffered from sexsomnia, a condition which means he has sex while asleep.

His wife and a former partner gave evidence of how they became used to being "groped" in the night while sleeping with him.

They said he would have sex with them in his sleep and remember nothing in the morning. A sleep consultant also gave evidence confirming that this was probably true.

The jury took just over an hour to find him not guilty.

The court had heard the girl had gone to sleep on Mr Davies' bed in the early hours of 7 September 2009, because his room was cooler.

'Instinctive behaviour'

Mr Davies was already asleep in the bed and told the court he had no idea she was there.

The teenager told the court she had woken in the middle of the night to find Mr Davies having sex with her.

After his arrest he was asked if anything had happened and he replied: "Not that I know of."

Prosecutor Jim Davies said that it was "significant" that Mr Davies had gone downstairs after the incident and put the kettle on.

Dr Chris Idzikowski, head of Edinburgh Sleep School, gave expert evidence at the trial.

He said that sexsomnia was a sleep disorder which fell into the category of sleep walking - something that affects one in 25 people.

"It is an instinctive behaviour, they are not conscious at the time," he added.

Mr Davies declined to comment as he left the court.

Correction 9 November 2011: This article, which was based on a report by the Press Association, has been amended to make clear that although the issue of sexsomnia was raised during the trial, Mr Davies's defence was that the incident had not taken place.