A WOMAN who was raped by a man pretending to take care of her after she had too much to drink has spoken of her nightmare.
The victim had gone out for a meal with a friend ‘for a good old catch-up’ when the pair decided to head to a club in Guildhall Walk.
It was a decision taken in a moment that she will regret forever.
They went to the Roast Bar where the woman, in her 30s, who can’t be named for legal reasons, drank too much and passed out.
Unknown to her the man who came to her aid, Ebrima Dampha, was a predatory rapist.
She was barely able to walk as he led her outside to a taxi.
Inside the car she couldn’t talk so he went through her handbag to find her address, even taking her money to pay the driver.
Back at her home Dampha, who has previous convictions for domestic violence, sent the cab away, took her inside and raped her.
She was unconscious and helpless.
Speaking to The News after the 33-year-old was jailed for eight years, she said: ‘I have been through hell because I still don’t exactly know what happened, I’ve got no recollection.
‘It’s something that is always going to be there and how I move on, I don’t know.
‘But the main feeling is an overwhelming sense of relief in that people did believe what had happened.’
Before the trial she would wake up every night at the same time that she was attacked.
‘I have been able to sleep properly since I gave evidence,’ she said.
‘I don’t really go out like I used to. I just go round friends’ houses.
‘I don’t think I will ever go down Guildhall Walk again.
‘I had never been in Roast Bar before, seeing that would freak me out.’
Despite being terrified at the prospect of having to go to court she says she knew she had to go to the police.
‘I went through everything just to stop this from happening to someone else, that’s the main thing,’ she said.
‘If you go out and you’re a bit drunk it doesn’t give someone the right to take advantage of you.
‘It’s not okay for people to think they have got the right to do something to you.
‘Some people say if you’re drunk you’re asking for it but you’re not.’
She gave her evidence from behind a screen, at times breaking down in tears, and to this day has still not come face-to-face with her attacker.
‘That would have been too traumatic,’ she said.
‘Your life is put on hold and you deal with things as much as you can but you can’t really move on until you have got the verdict that you want.’
After an ordinary, fun night out turned into something that has scarred her for life, she warned other women to be careful.
‘It was just to have a good old catch-up, we hadn’t planned to stay out that late,’ she said.
‘It comes down to being sensible about what you’re drinking, although sometimes you don’t feel it and it hits you at once.
‘If you’re out with friends and you see a friend that all of a sudden does appear quite drunk, look after them and make sure they get home safely. Look after each other.’
To other victims of sexual assaults she said: ‘Don’t be afraid to report it.
‘Yes, it’s a horrible thing to go through, but if you don’t report it and stop these people from doing it then they’re going to think it’s okay to do and it’s not and we should stop them.
‘If I hadn’t reported it and later found out he had done it to someone else I don’t know how I would have felt when I would have had the opportunity to stop him.’
Assurance of support for victims of rape
VICTIMS of sex attacks have been assured that support is there for them.
Eastern Area Detective Chief Inspector Darren O’Callaghan said: ‘Hampshire Constabulary has experienced specialist officers dedicated to pursuing the most serious sexual offenders and bringing them to justice through the courts.
‘We encourage anyone affected by such traumatic events to come forward and tell the police.
‘There are combined efforts with partner agencies to provide every support possible for the well-being of rape survivors after a crime and throughout the court process.’
Kim Hosier, director of the Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service (PARCS), said it was important those who have been sexually assaulted get help.
‘We would encourage survivors of rape and sexual assault to seek support through local services,’ she said.
‘We remain committed to supporting individuals in taking the path that is right for them.
‘This may, or may not, include reporting to the police.
‘We never underestimate how difficult the process of disclosure can be, not least because victims often believe they are in the wrong rather than wronged.’
PARCS offer a number of helplines. Women can call (023) 9266 9513 and men can call (023) 9266 9516 between 1pm and 3pm on Mondays and 7pm and 10pm Wednesdays to Fridays.
For counselling for sexual abuse or domestic abuse, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred, call (023) 9266 9513.
The Early Intervention Project (EIP), a support service working with survivors of domestic abuse is available on (023) 9268 8472.
CCTV captured footage of ‘sexual predator’ leading his victim into a taxi
EBRIMA Dampha was caught thanks, in part, to a small red ‘R’ found on the victim’s hand.
When she woke up at her home in Portsmouth the morning after the assault in March last year, Dampha had left and she realised she had been raped.
The woman, who the trial heard was four times the drink-drive limit, had no recollection of where she had been but the hand stamp told police she had visited the Roast Bar in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Walk.
Detectives checked the CCTV and sure enough they found footage of Dampha leading his semi-conscious victim outside and into a taxi at 2.45am.
The dad-of-three, an unemployed former chef from Charlton Crescent, Leigh Park, was arrested and admitted having sex with the woman but insisted it was consensual.
A jury at Portsmouth Crown Court rejected his story and found him guilty of rape.
Sentencing him Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘You would have realised, I have no doubt, that she was very drunk and that would have been confirmed when you came across her passed out on the floor.
‘From that moment onwards you saw the possibility of an opportunity for some sexual gratification.
‘She was incoherent, barely able to stand up and in no position to look after herself.’
The judge added: ‘The aggravating features of this rape are the breach of trust, because you were acting in a role of someone looking after her, that she was assaulted in her own home, and the element of targeting of a hopelessly drunk woman.
‘You went into her house on the pretext of looking after her.
‘Instead you took her upstairs and raped her in circumstances where she was completely helpless.’
Outside court Detective Constable Chris Dinenage, who led the investigation, said: ‘Ebrima Dampha is a sexual predator who carried out a premeditated attack on a helpless female victim in her own home.
‘This case highlights the dangers of drinking alcohol to excess and his sentence sends a clear message to anyone who preys upon vulnerable and defenceless victims.’