Barman jailed for nine years after raping lesbian wedding guest on the floor of a pub

January 20, 2014 | by | 0 Comments
Charles Franklin  leaving Bristol Crown Court during the trial

Charles Franklin leaving Bristol Crown Court during the trial

A barman who raped a lesbian wedding guest on the floor of the pub where he worked was jailed for nine years today.

Charles Franklin, 30, bumped into his drunk victim in the street as she staggered home while “a couple of drinks away from paralytic”.

He invited her back to the pub and stripped her naked before raping her on the floor of the bar – threatening to break her neck if she struggled.

The victim, also aged 30, cannot remember leaving the boozy wedding reception and her next memory was waking up in the middle of the attack.

It was not until Franklin fell into an “alcohol induced, deep sleep” that the woman managed to escape through a window and raise the alarm.

Franklin denied rape and attempted rape but was convicted after a trial at Bristol Crown Court and jailed for nine years yesterday.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Roach said: “It’s easy to have a picture of girl in desperation, trying to escape. You have blighted her life.

“From witnesses we heard during your trial it was made clear that you are a man of good character but on the night in question you put that woman through a terrifying situation.

“The sentence I am about to hand you should be in double figures but your good character has reduced it to just under that.”

The court heard how the woman left the wedding party in November 2012 at 1am after “a lot of drinking”.

She could not remember leaving but a forensic back calculation revealed that, at 3.45am, she had alcohol in her system equivalent to three times the drive-drive limit.

“The next thing I remember was being on the floor of this pub with a guy,” she said. “He stripped me. He was trying to force himself on me. I was struggling quite a lot. He told me if I kept struggling he would break my neck, so I let him do what he wanted.”

Franklin claimed he met the woman in the street, offered to charge her phone at The Somerset House pub in Clifton, Bristol, and “one thing led to another” on the floor.

After the attack the man sat at the bar and watched TV while she lay naked on the floor, she claimed.

“I managed to find my coat and I pretended to be asleep so he wouldn’t come back,” she said. “I looked around to see where the doors were. I decided to get up to see if there was a toilet or a window.”

She could not find a way out and the pair went upstairs to a bedroom where the man tried, but failed, to have sex with her again before falling asleep.

The victim then put on Franklin’s jeans and T-shirt before climbing out of a window. She then went to a kebab van and borrowed a mobile phone to raise the alarm with her mother, who came to pick her up.

“She got straight in the car and said, ‘I’ve been raped’,” her mother told Bristol Crown Court.

Police later found Franklin’s wallet in the jeans pocket and tracked him down to the pub, where he was still asleep at 9am.

Tara Wolfe, prosecuting, said: “The attack had devastating consequences on the victim’s life.

“She was forced to take medication after the attack and as a result she was unable to pursue her career for 12 weeks.”

Edward Burgess, mitigating, said: “Mr Franklin is a man of good character, as you heard from several witnesses in the trial, and prior to this he has no previous convictions.

“Since the night in question Mr Franklin has struck up a new relationship and as you will see now, and did throughout the trial, she is visibly distressed by the accusations which she finds hard to believe.

“This is not a case which cries out with features of heavy violence.”

Franklin, of Withywood, Bristol, was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register.

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