Married man, 34, sexually assaulted sleeping woman after he left his wife at home to attend friend’s wedding, court hears
A married man allegedly sexually assaulted a sleeping woman after he left his wife at home to attend a friend’s wedding, a court was told.
Ben Benson, 34, of Haslemere, Surrey, went to a nightclub after attending the wedding and then stayed overnight at a flat in north London, on December 15, 2018, where the alleged assault took place.
Benson stayed in the same bed as the woman, who cannot be named, telling her friend that he was concerned that she might choke on her own vomit as she was intoxicated.
But Benson allegedly sexually assaulted the woman while she was sleeping in the bed beside him. He denies sexual assault and assault by penetration.
Benson’s wife had stayed at home while he attended the wedding alone because their children hadn’t been sleeping well, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
The complainant told jurors: ‘I just remember lying on the bed and him standing over me fully clothed and smiling and saying goodbye. I have no memory of him being there.
‘It’s like snapshots – the night, the venue, the street, the toilet, the bed, the bed later on.’
Ben Benson, 34, of Haslemere, went to a nightclub after attending a wedding and returned to a flat in north London, on December 15, 2018, Snaresbrook Crown Court (pictured) heard
The complainant said she woke up in the middle of what she could only describe as a ‘sex dream’ and that she felt aroused.
Ruth Becker, defending Benson, asked if it was possible she was awake while he was touching her.
The woman said: ‘No because when I woke up I was aroused. Being so sick and drunk as I was I could not imagine waking up had I not been being touched.
‘When I woke up it was already happening. I think having being so sick I couldn’t have had capacity to consent anyway.’
Another witness, who cannot be named, said she had earlier attended a West End nightclub with Benson and others, who had also been to the wedding earlier that day.
She told the court: ‘I saw Ben when I arrived and obviously I knew Ben was married.
‘He said that the kids weren’t sleeping very well and so she [his wife] didn’t come along.
‘The club closed at 2am and people were leaving in various dribs and drabs.
‘At the end of the night [the complainant] took a tumble, fell to the floor, she was picked back up and put on the sofa.
‘It was at this point she had her head down and proceeded to vomit all down herself. She was definitely slumped, very not with it.’
The witness said she decided to take the complainant back to her flat, while Benson also returned to the flat after asking if he could stay there overnight.
She said the complainant ‘felt very strange’ and said she ‘could not feel her legs’, so she put her to bed in her spare bedroom.
She continued: ‘I got her into bed and she went to sleep straight away.
‘He [Benson] asked if he could stay to which I said “yes of course you can”, I said “I’ll make you a bed on our sofa”.
‘He said “no I’ll just sleep in the bed with [the complainant]” which is a double bed.
‘I said that obviously [the complainant] was passed out asleep and I said I wasn’t sure because she wasn’t able to say that she was comfortable with that to which [Benson] suggested that he was worried about her choking on her own vomit in her sleep.
‘So at this point I assumed he had the best intentions.’
The witness said she later discussed the alleged incident with the complainant, who described him as ‘very handsy’ and claimed he had ‘put his fingers inside of her’.
She continued: ‘She [the complainant] said that he had put his fingers inside of her. She said he was very handsy.
‘She said that she wasn’t sure that it was happening at first because she obviously hadn’t been with it during the night.
‘But she felt she couldn’t stop it because she felt that she couldn’t move her legs.’
Benson denies sexual assault and assault by penetration.
The trial continues.