Mother was too drunk to consent, rape trial told

The Argus: Mother was too drunk to consent, rape trial told Mother was too drunk to consent, rape trial told

A Woodingdean mother who died of alcohol poisoning just moments after having sex was so drunk that she would have been incapable of giving consent, a court heard.

Stephen Edwards, 48, is accused of raping Pauline Jenkins in February 2011 shortly before she slipped into an alcohol induced coma and died.

She was found the following morning in her Woodingdean home, naked and in the same position with rigamortis having set in.

Edwards, of Merevale, Brighton, who met women on the website Plenty of Fish, is also accused of raping another woman – whose identity is protected – in the same year.

The double rape trial at Hove Crown Court heard yesterday from Professor Ian Hindmarch, an expert in human psychopharmacology.

Addressing the jury, he told how recovering alcoholic Mrs Jenkins, of Rosebery Avenue, Woodingdean, was found with 458 milligrams of alcohol in her blood – the drink drive limit being 80mg.

At 6pm on the evening of her death she was spotted by friends picking up bottles of wine from her local off-licence.

The jury heard her state did not suggest she had drunk a substantial amount. However, just hours later she was dead – with six times the drink-drive limit in her system.

Professor Hindmarch explained anything between the 300mg and 400mg mark would usually see an individual unconscious or in a coma and anything over would result in death.

He said: “Wine was enough to cause her death or be a significant contributor.

“She would not have been able to provide consent for a long time before these lethal doses were reached.”

Describing the level of intoxication shortly prior to her death, he said: “This is where the brain is just not capable of processing information in a meaningful way.”

Professor Hindmarch added her brain would have been “deadened” before she slipped into a coma and died.

He said she would have been like a “zombie” making her unable to make “reasoned judgements”.

The trial previously heard how Edwards entered a sexual relationship with the second woman after meeting her online.

Speaking from the witness box, she told the jury he got her drunk before raping her. Edwards denies both charges.

The trial continues.

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