‘I had my suspicions that I was drugged’ – Alleged Grindr rape victim gives evidence to jury

Sam Ashley, 30, of Lynton Gardens, Fareham, denies rape, attempted rape and administering a substance
Sam Ashley, 30, of Lynton Gardens, Fareham, denies rape, attempted rape and administering a substance
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A STUDENT allegedly drugged and raped by a man he met on the gay hook-up app Grindr said he used ‘deceit’ to continue talking to the accused, jurors heard.

Sam Ashley is on trial charged with twice raping the student in 2016 after the pair went to Ashley’s home in Malta Road, North End, in 2016. They had met via Grindr for a run beforehand.

Sam Ashley

Sam Ashley

On the second day of Ashley’s trial at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday William Mousley QC, defending, went through messages between the pair.

He asked the student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, why he went for a run with him the following day after the alleged rape and why he continued to message.

The student said: ‘Because I had my suspicions that I was drugged. I was trying to piece together the night before, I didn’t want to accuse him and make him block me.’

The complainant said he used ‘deceit’ in some of the messages, including in a message where he told Ashley: ‘I really liked the time we had, Sam, and do want to get to know you more.’

The student said he urinated in a bottle as he had suspicions but only gave an interview to police months later.

Questioning Ashley, Mr Mousley said: ‘There’s the truth that you do know what happened between times but it’s best to say that you don’t because it would reveal that what you were doing was entirely with your consent.’

The complainant said: ‘Not true at all.’

The court heard the man spoke to a friend, a chaplain and a wellbeing officer about the incident.

Mr Mousley added: ‘Isn’t that’s what happened here, something’s happened, which is not rape at the time, something which you have had misgivings about afterwards, and something which over a period of months, with encouragement of others, whether well-meaning or not, you have turned it into, and by December, it had become an allegation of rape?’

The student replied: ‘No, I was very confident that something had happened and I hadn’t given consent.’

He told jurors he was ‘struggling’ to go ahead with speaking to police as he had a ‘homophobic family’ from whom ‘I’m not going to get any support from, who still don’t know this has happened’.

Mr Mousley put it to the student that he initiated sexual activity with Ashley.

The student said: ‘Complete lies, it never happened.’

Ashley is accused of drugging three other men, including one man being treated for HIV he allegedly raped.

He denies four rapes, two attempted rapes, and four charges of administering a substance with intent.

(Proceeding)