Portsmouth man accused of drugging and raping men he met on gay hook-up app Grindr

Sam Ashley, 30, of Lynton Gardens, Fareham, is on trial at Portsmouth Crown Court accused of rape, attempted rape and administering a substance
Sam Ashley, 30, of Lynton Gardens, Fareham, is on trial at Portsmouth Crown Court accused of rape, attempted rape and administering a substance

A ‘DESPERATE’ man drugged and raped men he met on the gay dating app Grindr, a court heard.

Jurors heard how the men said they awoke to find Sam Ashley having sex with them in separate incidents spanning eight months.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how in one alleged rape a University of Portsmouth student ‘blacked out’ and woke up to find Ashley having sex with him after he stayed at the defendant’s then-home in Malta Road, North End.

The pair had earlier agreed to go jogging after the student met Ashley – formerly known as Sam Davis – on gay dating app Grindr, prosecutor Robert Bryan told jurors.

In a video played at Portsmouth Crown Court, he said Ashley, 30, poured him a glass of strawberry and lime Kopparberg cider as he watched football on TV.

‘I had a couple of sips, it wasn’t even a quarter of the glass,’ he said.

‘I sort of felt a bit shaky and wobbly then, not starting to spin but like I was on a boat in the middle of the sea.’

The pair went to Ashley’s bedroom and had kissed, which he was ‘okay with’, the university student said.

The student, in his 20s, said: ‘We kissed, it went blank, the next thing I remember – he was behind me and we were having sex.

‘He was quite forceful and I remember I sort of gripped the pillow and I was more concentrating on trying to figure out where I was and just stop the room spinning.’

He added: ‘I just wanted the room to stop spinning so I could figure out what was going on. Things went black again and he was pushing my head down on to his penis.’

The student, who said Ashley had appeared ‘desperate for reassurance’, told police things went black again but he then remembers Ashley having sex with him.

He said Ashley had asked: ‘I love you, do you love me?’

Mr Bryan said in days that followed the incident, the student asked Ashley if he put anything in his drink.

Ashley, of Lynton Gardens, Fareham, said: ‘Are you suggesting I spiked your drink? If so no, I really liked you are you saying you didn’t want me or want anything?’

He added: ‘I did have a drink with a relaxant in it though.’

‘That’s when alarm bells rang,’ the student said.

He said ‘mixed drinks’ seemed a ‘convenient excuse’.

Ashley is accused of going on to drug three other men, including one man with HIV, between June and December 2016. He denies four rapes, two attempted rapes, and four charges of administering a substance with intent.

Sleep drug zopiclone and diazepam were found in Ashley’s bedside cabinet when he was arrested, Mr Bryan told jurors.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Dating app accused ‘raped man having treatment for HIV’

A MAN being treated for HIV was drugged and raped at his home after being ‘pressured’ to meet with Sam Ashley, the rape trial was told.

Jurors heard the mid-20s man was given an ‘ultimatum’ to meet Ashley – who said he had ‘terminal colon cancer’.

The pair, who did not meet on Grindr, went out and drank Prosecco but when back at the HIV sufferer’s home, Ashley ‘tried to shove’ poppers under his nose. The man later felt Ashley trying to have sex with him in bed.

Mr Bryan said the man told police he ‘lost count of the number of times he said no’.

The pair met again and the man said he ‘felt strange’ after Ashley made him a drink, later waking up to Ashley trying to have sex with him.

The man later told police he felt he had been ‘violated’.

Another man Ashley met on Grindr, the third complainant, said he ‘felt as if he had inhaled laughing gas’ but had only drunk tea when with Ashley, jurors were told.

He told police he passed out after having sex but later ‘saw a number of sex toys on the bed which Sam said he had used on him,’ Mr Bryan said.

Ashley is not accused of raping this man as he ‘would have consented,’ jurors heard.

Separately, CCTV played at the trial shows the fourth complainant, in his early 20s, ‘stumble’ as together with the defendant they walked in Malta Road, Mr Bryan said.

The trial heard Ashley had given the man ‘two tablets’ after he complained of a headache when Ashley met him and a third man for sex via Grindr at 1.30am another day.

CCTV showed the man leaving Ashley’s home the next morning looking ‘vacant’ Mr Bryan said, adding the complainant woke up ‘sore’ and ‘felt as if he had sex’.

CCTV at a petrol station showed Ashley buying cigarettes for the man as the he ‘was not fit enough to get out’, Mr Bryan said.

(Proceeding)