A PREDATORY sex offender is facing 10 years in jail after being found guilty of raping two women who he targeted because they were leglessly drunk.
Lewis Stewart came across the two women as they staggered around the centre of Torquay after bingeing on cocktails and prosecco at a bottomless brunch which included two hours of free drinking.
He posed as a Good Samaritan by organising a taxi to get them home but then he and his girlfriend got into the cab and followed them inside when they reached one of their homes in Paignton.
One of the women was so drunk that she went straight to bed while Stewart’s girlfriend took the other to buy a bottle of vodka. The victim was so drunk that she was flashing her breasts at other customers in the shop.
Stewart had sex with both women when they passed out and took a picture of one of them naked from the waist down with her legs open. Neither had any memory of what happened and woke to find two strangers in the flat.
He then boasted that they had both taken part in threesomes, one with him and his girlfriend and the other with him and the other victim. He also sent a bragging text after he left describing what he had done.
Stewart also gave one of the women an ecstasy tablet and took four of the pills himself during the all-night series of sexual assaults on January 21 this year.
The father of one of the victims shouted ‘he’s an animal’ from the public gallery after a jury at Exeter Crown Court found him guilty of raping his daughter twice and the other woman once.
The jury reached their decision without being told of Stewart’s long history of sexual offending, which included under-age sex with a teenaged schoolgirl who had run away from home.
He was already on the sex offenders register and has served a jail sentences for breaking an order not to have unaccompanied contact with children.
Judge Stephen Climie thanked the jury for their work on the case and told them that sentencing guidelines suggest a starting point of ten years for a single offence of rape but that this case is aggravated by Stewart’s previous convictions and there being three rapes.
He asked the probation service to carry out an assessment of Stewart’s level of dangerousness and said that he may have to consider an indefinite sentence.
Mr Rupert Taylor, defending, said he will be obtaining an updated report from a psychologist about Stewart’s autism and how it may affect his ability to cope with a long jail sentence.
Stewart, aged 28, of St Patrick’s Close, Teignmouth, who is originally from Dawlish, denied but was found guilty of three counts of rape, one against one victim and two against the second.
He was cleared of causing one to take a substance with the intent of enabling a sexual assault. He has previously admitted supplying her with ecstasy but told the jury he did this after they had sex and at her request.
During the trial, the jury were shown CCTV of the two women staggering around and obviously drunk after leaving the bottomless brunch at the Park Lane pub and moving on the drink more at the Green Ginger.
One of the women was unable to stand up and was seen repeatedly falling over and being helped up by her friend, who was a little more sober.
Stewart was seen arriving on a bus from Teignmouth with his girlfriend and passing the two women before stopping and going back to apparently offer to help.
Footage showed him touching one of them on the legs and bottom as he got into the back seat of a taxi with both of them. CCTV from the shop in Paignton showed the more sober of the women struggling to stand up after they arrived back at her friend’s house.
Mr Lee Bremridge, prosecuting, said two friends went out for the night together on Saturday, January 21, this year and both were very drunk by the time they encountered Stewart and his girlfriend outside JD’s bar at 9.3 pm.
He said Stewart helped them into a taxi, paid the £15 fare and accompanied them home, where his girlfriend took the soberer one to buy a bottle of vodka at a nearby shop.
Mr Bremridge said neither could remember going home but that Stewart gave one two ecstasy pills. He told them both about having threesomes when they woke up the next day and there was DNA evidence to confirm he has sex with one of them and toxicology evidence showing the other had taken drugs.
He said: 'He took advantage of both of them when they were in no fit state to consent to what was happening. It would have been perfectly obvious to him they were in no fit state to consent.'
Stewart told the jury that both women were awake, sober enough to consent, and had been enthusiastic participants in the threesomes.
Sex crime advice lines
If you’ve been affected by anything in this news article, support is available.
National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999
Devon and Cornwall Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC): 0300 3034626
Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Independent Sexual Advisor Service: 03458 121212
Victim Care Unit: 01392 475900
Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services: 01392 204 174
In an emergency, always call 999 and in a non-emergency please visit www.dc.police.uk/contact.