By Court Reporter Monday 10 September 2012 Updated: 10/09 14:35
AN ARMY chef has been jailed for three years for raping a teenage girl as she was sleeping next to her boyfriend in a tent during a medieval re-enactment weekend in Alcester.
Vila Woods pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to raping the 17-year-old during the event at Ragley Hall last summer.
The 30-year-old of Merville Barracks in Colchester, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
Jailing Woods, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him his behaviour was bizarre, his actions completely unjustified and he had deserved an elbow in the face.
"It is a very distressing thing to happen to a woman - it is a terrible invasion of her intimacy. She didn’t know you; you could have had a disease. It was a terrible thing to do."
The victim attended the event over the weekend of August 6 and 8 last year with her boyfriend and a group of people. Woods, who she had never met before, has been invited by someone else.
The girl and her boyfriend had zipped their sleeping bags together and were staying in a tent. They agreed on the Saturday Woods could share with them.
After returning from having a wash, Woods appeared to be asleep and the girl settled alongside her boyfriend who had taken a sleeping tablet. But she woke in the night to find Woods had unzipped her sleeping bag, pulled down her pyjama bottoms and was having sex with her.
At first she assumed it was her boyfriend but then realised he was still asleep next to her and it was actually Woods.
Frightened, and not knowing how to react, she tried to rouse her boyfriend without making it obvious to Woods she was doing so. When her boyfriend slung his arm over her Woods withdrew but remained in the tent.
The girl then typed on her mobile phone what had happened and as her boyfriend read it Woods left the tent. He was asked to leave the camping area for other reasons the following day before the victim had complained to the police.
When arrested in Colchester, Woods accepted he had sex with her and when pressed said he 'could not be 100 per cent sure she was awake' but claimed there had been some prior encouragement from her and signs during intercourse she was consenting.
The claim was denied by the girl who said she had given him no encouragement which Woods accepted when he entered his guilty plea.
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