Man accused of sexual assaults was ‘playfighting’

Barry Fradgley is currently standing trial at Portsmouth Crown Court
Barry Fradgley is currently standing trial at Portsmouth Crown Court
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A PHOTOGRAPH alleged to show a man sexually assaulting a woman was actually of the pair playfighting, a court heard.

Barry Fradgley is accused of drugging the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with powerful sleeping pills and tranquillisers before attacking her on multiple occasions.

Asked by defence barrister Paul Walker what the photograph – used at part of evidence in the prosecution case at Portsmouth Crown Court – shows, Fradgley replied: ‘We were playfighting.’

When Mr Walker asked: ‘Was it you sexually assaulting her?’ he replied: ‘no.’

Fradgley denies four counts of administering a substance with intent to stupefy or overpower a woman to enable him to engage in sexual activity with her.

The 44-year-old also denies sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, two counts of voyeurism and perverting the course of justice.

Asked by Mr Walker if he had ever attempted to sexually assault the alleged victim, Fradgley replied while giving evidence: ‘No.’

When Mr Walker asked if Fradgley had ever laid on top of the woman while she was asleep, he said: ‘No, never.’

Addressing Fradgley, Mr Walker said: ‘Was the victim telling the truth about that – was she telling the truth about being sexually assaulted by you?’

Fradgley replied: ‘No she’s not, she’s telling a lie.’

During evidence he said he did not sexually assault the victim, but he had found out that another person had.

A jury of 12 has heard that traces of sleeping pills zopiclone, doxylamine and zolpidem and sedative diazepam, which is also known as valium, were found in hair samples taken from the victim.

Giving evidence, Dr Graham Mould, a forensic toxicology expert, said zolpidem and diazepam were detected from April to July last year but that it was ‘very difficult to determine’ what the dose might have been.

He said doxylamine and zopiclone were found in a hair sample taken in July last year.

Dr Mould said: ‘I have suggested that since the victim was not prescribed any of these drugs then one has to assume that they were given to her inadvertantly and without her knowledge, and all these compounds have both amnesia and sedative properties.’

Dr Mould said the drugs were not found in high levels, but added: ‘The combination of all four drugs would produce, I would suggest, excessive sedation and amnesia.’

The court has heard that when Fradgley’s then home in Southsea was searched in the summer of last year, police found zopiclone, diazepam and zolpidem.