Exmouth man found guilty of rape. Victim said “no” ‘over and over again’

PUBLISHED: 17:15 31 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:29 31 July 2017

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Alex Walton

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

An Exmouth man found guilty of rape has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced next week

A builder from Exmouth has been found guilty of raping a woman who he drove to a lonely country lane after an all-night drink and drugs party.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Steven Reeves told the woman he was going out to buy cigarettes, but instead went to a house to buy cocaine and then took her to a lay-by on the edge of Woodbury Common.

He pinned her into the passenger seat and attacked her so violently she was left with a bite mark on her face and bruises on her legs.

The court heard Reeves ripped an earring off as he bit the victim for a second time and it was found in the footwell of his car when police arrested him the next day.

He ignored the woman’s pleas for him to get off her, the jury was told, and pulled down her leggings and told her ‘this will stop when I say it stops’.

Reeves is a building worker who is nicknamed ‘Bodge’ and who used his bulk to overpower the victim, the court heard.

He claimed the woman had initiated sex, but a jury at Exeter Crown Court rejected his story after reading a text exchange between the two which took place a few hours after the rape.

Reeves sent her a text asking how she felt and she replied that he made her feel disgusted and told him: “I said no over and over again.”

Reeves, aged 32, of St Andrews Road, Exmouth, denied rape but was found guilty.

Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, adjourned sentence until this week and asked the officer in the case to obtain an up-to-date victim impact statement. He remanded Reeves in custody.

The judge thanked the jury for the attention they had taken over the case, which he described as ‘distressing’.

The five-day case was a retrial after a jury at Exeter failed to reach a verdict last December.

The prosecution said the attack happened after an all-night party.

The woman told how Reeves insisted on taking her with him on her own on a mission which she thought was to buy cigarettes from a filling station, but which ended in him driving out of the town and into a country lane.

Reeves stopped at a small parking area off St John’s Road and attacked her after she refused to get out and go for a walk with him.

He claimed she had asked him to buy drugs for her and suggested they stop. Reeves said she had initiated sex and was an enthusiastic partner. He accused her of making up her allegation of rape.

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