Leeds student jailed for raping 18-year-old woman in her bed after party

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A university student from Leeds has been sent to prison after raping a girl after he met her at a party.

Thomas Cuthbert, of St Michael's Villas, Leeds, had "ruined the life" of his victim after the sexual assault in her bed when she was drunk, Leeds Crown Court was told.

In a statement, the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, now says she has "lost her trust in men".

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Cuthbert, 21, met the victim, who was 18 at the time, at a party in February, 2021.

The hearing took place at Leeds Crown Court.The hearing took place at Leeds Crown Court.
The hearing took place at Leeds Crown Court.

She was heavily intoxicated and remembers kissing Cuthbert while at the party, before the two left together.

Cuthbert invited her back to his flat, but she instead wanted to go to her own house. She told police she did not remember coming into the house, but remembers being sick in her toilet, before changing into her pyjamas and going to bed.

Cuthbert was in her room, and laid next to her before he started inappropriately touching her, the court heard.

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He later raped her while she was trying to sleep. The victim told police that, once she realised what was happening, she began to scream.

The defendant was said to then frantically apologise, before getting half-dressed and running out of the house, leaving his underwear and tee shirt behind.

When he was first arrested, Cuthbert initially told the police that the sex was consensual.

He later changed his plea to guilty.

A statement that was written by the victim was read out to the court.

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It said the victim no longer liked going to nightclubs with lots of men present, and had to wear trousers in bed.

The statement added that the victim now took antidepressants and she feels vulnerable around large groups of men.

It added: "My life altered distinctly and the course of my life will never be the same."

Prosecuting barrister Catherine Duffy added: "She has lost her trust in men.

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"Telling her family wax exceptionally difficult. Her mother cried when she told her."

Mitigating, Robin Frieze told the court: "The most impressive aspect is the level of remorse he has shown. The probation officer said there was genuine remorse.

"A young man with good character and a professional career ahead of him.

"Many defendants in his position are tempted to ask a jury to consider the issue of consent.

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"The level of his remorse, guilt, understanding and shame shines though. He accepts there was an element of male entitlement there, and that the victim did nothing to encourage him to act in this way."

He added that around the time of the offence, his client was, despite his good academic credentials, was “suffering from low mood and drinking too much”.

Sentencing Cuthbert, Recorder Patrick Palmer told Cuthbert: "You know you have ruined her life.

"My sympathies have to be with the complainant in this case having looked at the circumstances."

He sentenced Cuthbert to five years and three months imprisonment, and a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.