Justin Davies, 41, from Fulham, in West London, slipped the drug into a bottle of Chardonnay which he shared with his wife, Sally, 36, when she arrived home from work. The couple, who have since divorced, were sleeping in separate rooms at the time.
Mrs Davies began to feel "odd and very tired" as she drank the wine during supper and, afterwards, while watching television. The next thing she remembered was waking up in her bed the next morning feeling "totally disorientated".
Mr Davies admitted two charges of drugging his wife, in the first British court case involving Flunitrazepam, the scientific name for Rohypnol.
Judge Geoffrey Grigson, told Mr Davies at the Old Bailey yesterday: "Ordinarily for an offence of this nature, I would not hesitate to pass an immediate custodial sentence. Had your motive been sexual, you would have been on your way to prison. Your intention, however misguided, was to save your marriage, for the sake of your son."
Laura Cobb, for the prosecution, described how Mrs Davies had woken up on 8 June 1997 at 7.40am unclear about what had happened the night before. The court heard how Mr Davies had said: "We had a nice chat. You told me you did not want a divorce. You jumped on me and of course I was not going to put up much resistance." Miss Cobb said that Mrs Davies "did not remember having sex and felt really stupid about it because she did not love him anymore".
Patrick Gibbs, for the defence, said of Mr Davies's behaviour: "He acted recklessly and dangerously because he loved his wife and wanted her to continue to be his wife. He thought if she saw things as he did she would wish to remain his wife. He was quite wrong."Reuse content