Police sergeant jailed for 10 years for raping drunk woman

Judge says 36-year-old committed ‘disgusting and persistent sexual attack’

Katie Dickinson
Monday 07 March 2022 07:40

Police officer Ben Lister appears in court in 2021 charged with rape and sexual assault

A police sergeant has been jailed for 10 years for raping a “paralytic” woman who went on to give birth to his child.

Ben Lister was found guilty of sexually assaulting and raping the woman while they were staying at the same house after a night out in 2016.

Prosecutors said the 36-year-old, an officer with West Yorkshire Police, dragged the “very drunk” woman off a sofa while she was asleep before touching her sexually as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

Sentencing Lister at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Rose said he had contacted the woman the next day, “testing the waters to see if you had got away with having sexual intercourse with a comatose woman”.

I really didn't cope well throughout the pregnancy and felt like I shouldn't have kept her, because I knew deep down what had happened to me and how she was conceived

Victim statement

When the victim asked if they had had sex, the judge said Lister “told the first of many lies” and said they had not, but had engaged in some sexual activity.

The woman found out she was pregnant several months later and “knew then that she had been raped,” the court heard.

DNA tests later showed Lister was the child’s father, jurors were told.

The woman went to police in January 2020 and Lister was arrested and interviewed. He denied one count of rape and one of assault by penetration, saying any sexual contact between the two was consensual.

A jury convicted him of both counts on Friday.

It comes after a previous trial jury failed to reach verdicts in October last year.

In a victim personal statement read to the court, the woman said although she “loved her little girl to bits”, she had “always struggled since she was born”.

She is such a lovely, funny, caring young girl and I already dread the future. I don't want her to grow up to hate me even though I have done nothing wrong

Victim statement

She said: “I really didn’t cope well throughout the pregnancy and felt like I shouldn’t have kept her, because I knew deep down what had happened to me and how she was conceived.

“I don’t think I went through with the abortion because I was so scared they would ask questions and I wasn’t ready to explain what happened to me then.

“I didn’t enjoy the feeling of her moving around in my stomach like the other mums did.”

The woman added: “I look at her and feel she is a constant reminder of what he has done to me.

“She is such a lovely, funny, caring young girl and I already dread the future.

“I don’t want her to grow up to hate me even though I have done nothing wrong.”

The judge jailed Lister for 10 years for the “disgusting and persistent sexual attack”.

He told Lister: “You took advantage of her, knowing she couldn’t physically fight you off.”

The judge said: “The consequences will extend for many, many years and there are difficulties yet to come when the child asks ‘who is my daddy?'”

He added: “You were a police officer. That carries with it a requirement that you behave in an upright, decent and proper manner at all times, whether on or off duty.

“Every woman of any age is entitled to go out and enjoy themselves and to do so knowing they will be safe throughout the evening and when they return to the comfort of a home.”

Lister had been suspended from his role with the force pending the outcome of the case. He will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life following the verdict.

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