Akeem Hassain, a 20-year-old student from Merthyr Tydfil, has been found guilty of raping a fellow student. Cardiff Crown Court heard how a young woman, also 20, woke to find a man she did not know having sex with her on her first night of university last year.
The trial, which began two weeks ago, heard that upon arrest Hassain said to police “this can’t be right – I’m doing Police Sciences”. Hassain’s defence council claimed that the sex had been consensual and that the woman was trying to “save her reputation” by saying she had been raped, even relating her attack to the comedy television show ‘The Young Ones’. Her flatmate told a very different story.
“She looked like she had been crying and said a boy had come into her room and forced himself on her and when she told him to stop, he wouldn’t. She didn’t know who it was. She had been really drunk.”
The court heard how the woman had only been at the University for a matter of hours, and had been getting to know some other students. She had been drinking a lot when the attack took place and told the court that she had needed help to get back to her room. She described how she had told Hassain to stop, that he was hurting her and that she was bleeding.
The recent series of sex attacks, which took place in Cardiff at the beginning of this academic year, show that one year on, women are still at serious risk of sexual attacks. A recent summit regarding the attacks concluded that ‘Lad Culture’ was to blame for the three separate incidents in Cardiff, one of which also allegedly involved a male student.
Sexual consent workshops are one of the ways that universities are trying to put a stop to ‘Lad Culture’ and make people aware of the boundaries. Many universities are introducing sexual consent lessons and sexual consent workshops were made compulsory at both Oxford and Cambridge last year. This followed a report from the National Union of Students, which claimed that more than a third of female students had been inappropriately touched or groped. Cardiff University Students’ Union have a “zero tolerance to sexual harassment” but have not yet implemented consent lessons.
Michael Jones, of the prosecution, explained to the court that Akeem Hassain “took advantage of a girl in a vulnerable position.
“The fact that a woman is intoxicated gives no one the right to take advantage”. Sentencing will take place in two weeks and Hassain’s request for bail until sentence was denied.