Wigan man tried to have sex with unconscious woman, court hears

A convicted robber is now awaiting his further fate after a jury found him guilty of attempted rape.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 11:29 am
Joseph Evans

Joseph Evans Lee is already serving a 40-month sentence behind bars after admitting to his part in a terrifying raid on a Wigan woman’s home at the beginning of the year.

And now, after a week-long trial at Bolton Crown Court, a jury also has convicted the 33-year-old of trying to have sex with another woman as she lay passed out on a sofa.

The hearing was told that the 34-year-old victim was attacked in the early hours of Saturday January 12 this year at her home.

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Joseph Evans

Lee, of Langdale Crescent, Orrell, was there as a guest and was known to his prey, but a male mutual friend of the pair walked in as the accused was forcing himself on the unconscious woman.

He had originally been charged with both rape and attempted rape as an alternative - both of which charges Lee had denied - but, after submissions were made mid-way through the trial by the defence team, the judge ordered that the more serious charge be dropped.

Lee, however, was then unanimously convicted of the serious sexual assault and will be sentenced on August 15.

Technically he was given bail until then but he is already locked up, having pleaded guilty to a robbery at the same court last month and having been given a three years and four months’ prison sentence.

On that occasion he was in the dock with 31-year-old co-accused Jamie Ratchford, of no fixed address.

Both were accused of a frightening early hours break-in at a house in Vincent Way, Marsh Green, eight days before the sex attack.

The hearing was told that that the female victim was sitting in her living room at around 3am on Friday January 4.

She had left the front door unlocked with the keys in the back of the door.

The court was told she heard someone enter through the front door and on seeing them, shouted out.

The intruder left, she followed him and saw two men standing near her car outside the house.

She noticed that the house door keys were missing and so went outside to confront them.

Seeing that they had the keys the woman then grabbed them from one of the men inside the car as he tried to start her car.

There was a struggle in which the men managed to get the keys back from her.

But she began shouting for help and she sat in the driver’s seat of the car as neighbours came out of their homes to see what was happening, at which point the raiders left.

Lee denied burglary but admitted to robbery. The judge allowed the break-in charge to lie on file.

Ratchford faced the same charges and pleaded guilty to both, receiving a three-year sentence for robbery and 12 months for burglary although they will run concurrently.

Both had also been accused of attempted theft but those charges will also lie on file.