A RAPIST who attacked a woman as she lay asleep in her bed has been handed a determinate prison sentence of eight-years.

Adam Mohammed, aged 24 and from Exeter, was found guilty of one count of rape following a trial at Exeter Crown Court on Thursday, June 8, 2023.

He was sentenced today, Friday, January 12, to eight years in prison, of which he will serve two-thirds before being up for release on licence.

He will remain on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

The court heard how in March 2021 the victim, who was a student at the time, had been socialising with friends at her accommodation block on Exeter University campus.

Several people had joined the party, including three men who were unknown to the victim and to the rest of her friends.

At around midnight, the victim was put to bed by friends and her door was left unlocked so that friends could check in on her throughout the night.

At around 2am, the victim woke up in bed to find Mohammed raping her.

She initially froze before pushing him away and fleeing to a friend’s room for help.

Police were alerted and officers were immediately on the scene and searches were carried out. Extensive enquiries led to Mohammed’s swift arrest, who was located within the University campus.

Mohammed denied the offence but was later charged with rape.

During the five-day trial in June 2023, the court heard from several witnesses. One witness stated that she had felt very uncomfortable in Mohammed’s presence and had been “creeped out” by him and the sexualised comments that he made throughout the night.

From forensic examination of the victim’s clothes, DNA was linked to Mohammed.

He had stated that his DNA, which was found on the victim’s underwear, had got there due to the group playing drinking games that evening, something the victim and the witnesses all refute.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

On sentencing, Judge Evans said: “What is clear from the evidence is that on finding the victim alone and asleep in her bed, you moved her clothing and began raping her hoping that she would not wake, until in fact she did wake and once she had processed what you were doing to her, pushed you off and fled the room.

“Against your hopes the victim was robustly alert enough, despite the awful attack upon her, to recognise her attacker as someone she had seen during the party earlier and she gave your description to police when they arrived within an hour of the offence.”

Detective Constable Alex Powe, officer in the case, welcomed today’s sentence and said: “It is clear that Mohammed took advantage of the victim while she was asleep.

“He will now serve a considerable amount of time in prison where he can no longer be a threat to women.

“I am incredibly grateful to the victim and her friends for the courage they have shown and their tenacity to bring this offender to justice. This investigation shows that we are committed to routing out predatory men.

“Our message is simple; there is no place to hide. We will do all that we can to seek out offenders and bring them before the courts.”

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Andy Hingston said: “I would like to praise the actions of the victim and her friends, who have shown great courage throughout the trial.

“I would also like to praise the hard work and dedication shown by Detective Constable Alex Powe who has gone above and beyond to secure this conviction. The team arrested and charged the offender within 24-hours of the incident. I also extend my thanks to the Crown Prosecution Service for their work and collaboration on this case.

“Violence against women and girls is quite simply unacceptable, and as a society we will not tolerate it. We want to hear from anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault, we will listen to you and support you.”

T/Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thorne said: “Bringing this offender to justice would not have happened without the bravery of the victim, in being willing to come forward and report such a traumatic crime to us. I would like to thank and commend her for being so brave. 

“In addition, I would like to thank the investigation and prosecution teams for their determination and commitment to ensure this dangerous man was convicted and imprisoned.

“This should be a warning to other men who feel they can prey on vulnerable women. It is simply unacceptable. We will identify you and prosecute you if you choose to behave like this.”

A spokesperson for the University of Exeter said: “We are appalled by the nature of this crime. The safety and well-being of everyone on our campuses is always our highest priority, and our overriding concern has been, and remains, to provide support and assistance to those involved.

“While instances such as this are extremely rare in Exeter and nationwide, the University has a wide range of welfare services and procedures in place to support anyone who has been a victim of crime.”

Support available

If you or someone you know has been a victim of rape or sexual assault, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.

You can also report information and crimes on the police website.

Alternatively, you can report information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

There are lots of organisations and support agencies available across Devon and Cornwall that can help provide support. For more information on rape and serious sexual assault and the support services available, please visit Devon and Cornwall Police support pages by clicking here.