• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Jail for Oxford man who sexually assaulted woman as she slept

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 2, 2022

A woman who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a surveyor said the abuse had made her feel ‘dirty, violated and humiliated’.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was subjected to repeated assaults by Raj Garewal, 57, as she slept.

Aylesbury Crown Court, where the Oxford man was jailed on Thursday, heard that the sexual assaults had escalated from touching the slumbering woman’s private parts as she lay in bed.

A last incident saw Garewal try to place his genitals into the woman’s mouth as she lay, fully clothed and drunk, on her own bed in November 2019.

Tim Naik, prosecuting, said the woman was ‘pretending to be more drunk than she was in the hope he would give up’. The ordeal lasted a couple of minutes.

In a victim personal statement, she said the assaults had left her suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

The defendant, who carried out the assaults in Buckinghamshire but now lives in Marston Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty at the start of the year to various counts of sexual assault, sexual assault by penetration and causing sexual activity without consent. He had no previous convictions.

His case was first before the crown court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on January 4, when he admitted some of the offences but denied others – including rape.

At a time when trials of serious sexual offences can take more than a year to be heard, Garewal’s case was listed for trial on January 31.

Jane Bickerstaff QC, defending, said: “This is a matter that came astonishingly quickly from first appearance to trial because one of your honour’s fellow judges at this court wanted to put it into a slot that had unexpectedly become available.” On the day of his trial, the Crown Prosecution Service accepted his guilty pleas to the lesser charges of sexual assault and causing sexual activity.

Garewal ran his own surveying business. Since entering his pleas in January, the victim was said by Ms Bickerstaff to have contacted his clients to tell them ‘he’s a sex offender who’s going to prison’. One client remained with his firm.

Judge Catherine Tulk jailed him for three years and imposed a 10 year restraining order banning all contact with the victim. He will be on the sex offender register for life.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward