A MAN on trial for drugging and raping men told the arresting officer he only had a ‘heart-to-heart’ with one of his alleged victims.
Sam Ashley, from Lynton Gardens, Fareham, is standing trial at Portsmouth Crown Court accused of raping three men he met on dating app Grindr, and drugging another.
The fourth day of the trial heard from Sgt Andrea Hayward, from Hampshire police who arrested insurance worker Ashley in 2016.
She said: ‘I advised him of the allegations made against him by a male in Dorset.
I arrested him on suspicion of rape and attempted rape and cautioned him.
‘He said to me he was shocked by the allegation.
‘He said he went to Dorset on Monday and Wednesday and had a good heart-to-heart.
‘There were conversations between (Ashley and the male from Dorset) on his phone. He said he was upset because he was going on holiday that day and the male knew that.’
The complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told officers in a recorded interview Ashley raped him after they had gone out and drank alcohol.
The man, who is HIV positive, said he felt obliged to meet with Ashley after the defendant told him he had terminal colon cancer.
Two nights after allegedly being raped, Ashley attended the man’s home and he claimed Ashley gave him chemsex drug GHB in a drink.
William Mousley QC, defending, suggested Ashley was looking after the complainant after he started feeling unwell by helping him move from the bathroom where he was being sick.
Mr Mousley said: ‘In your police statement you told officers that Sam said “I’ll look after you but I can go home if you want me to”.
‘You said “I can’t not have anyone here at the moment because I’m feeling vulnerable”. He offered to leave and you said no.’
The man said he agreed with Mr Mousley but he said he felt petrified due to feeling sick. He said he put himself into the recovery position.
Jurors heard it was shortly afterward that he felt Ashley trying to have sex with him.
Mr Mousley asked him if he had felt sick in the days leading up to the incident.
‘What I am trying to suggest is that Sam didn’t give you any drug and if you were unwell then it was nothing to do with any drugs,’ he said.
The alleged victim said that statement was ‘absolute tosh’.
Mr Mousley added: ‘As far as the second incident is concerned, there was no sexual activity by Sam towards you.’
The witness said that was false. When questioned by prosecutor Robert Bryan, the complainant said he felt gay people were labelled.
‘Gay men are seen as promiscuous and having a variety of sex,’ he said. ‘It’s not conforming to the majority. If the rape definition fits other context, it’s very difficult.’
The trial heard from a nurse who examined the complainant at a sexual assault centre. She said the examination found no signs of injuries on the body but said: ‘Although there was an absence of injury, injuries are not an inevitable cause (of non-consensual sex).’
Ashley denies four rapes, two attempted rapes, and four charges of administering a substance with intent over four men.