Sussex student sentenced to eight years in prison for Freshers’ Week rape

His phone included searches for ‘minimum sentence for rape’

A student has been convicted of rape and sentenced to eight years in prison.

During Freshers' Week 2016, Sussex student Liam Allen raped the female student in her own bed whilst she slept after a pub crawl.

The court heard that Allen, now 22, got the bus with the female back to her university accommodation and said he needed to charge his phone before getting the bus back. The woman then fell asleep, later awakening to him on top of her taking advantage of her.

She repeatedly told him to stop but Allen wouldn’t get off her.

Allen said that he knew the attack wasn’t right but that the female still did consent. He put his number in the student’s phone and messaged her the next day thanking her for a good night.

The female and her boyfriend had a phone call with the defendant the day after the attack, during which he denied raping her and insisted that she consented.

Following the phone call, Allen's phone search history included terms such as "accused of rape", "minimum sentence for rape" and "CPS guidelines for rape".

Allen pleaded not guilty, but was said to show no emotion when the judge sentenced him to eight years in prison, reported The Argus.

In her statement, the female student said how university was supposed to be a new start for her after having lost her independence at the age of 13 due to having to become her Mum’s carer as a result of terminal illness. “I was starting my new life, finding out who I was and gaining confidence. I had a picture of where my life was going", the court heard.

She went on to say how as a result of being forced to see her attacker around campus, she dropped out of Sussex Uni in January 2017. The following August she moved away from Brighton, a city she had loved but had now been tainted with bad memories.

The female said she often awakes with nightmares and can’t even walk to the corner shop on her own.

She said: "I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I am unable to work or face studying and rarely leave the house and cannot face studying.

"The Police investigation was hard to live through, my video interview was awful," the young female said.

On the final day of deliberations, the jury asked to see the taped interview of the female again. It then took a little over an hour for the jury to reach a unanimous decision that Allen was guilty.

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University of Sussex