Byker council worker who recorded himself raping sleeping woman jailed after police find footage

A woman has been shocked to learn from police that she was raped in her sleep after footage of her was found during a separate investigation into her attacker.

The dastardly act of council employee Alan Spraggon had remained his sordid secret until his devices were seized by officers investigating possible voyeurism. He had used a camcorder to record himself abusing the woman as she slept.

When officers told the woman what had happened to her all those years ago, she was devastated and couldn’t understand what she was being told. Spraggon, 58, of Michaelgate, Byker, Newcastle, denied the rape but was found guilty by jurors on what a judge called “overwhelming evidence” and has now been jailed for seven years.

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Prosecutor Paul Cleasby told Newcastle Crown Court: “When the police visited her her life was turned upside down forever. Information was passed to her which was devastating. She was unable to process what we told him.

“It became apparent that she had been the victim of rape. He had the audacity to record the despicable act. “She was asleep and vulnerable because she was sleeping. He raped her without her knowledge.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Spraggon was told he had to sign the sex offender register indefinitely.

Judge Tim Gittins told her: “She was asleep and knew nothing, at the time, of your despicable act. You didn’t have the strength and the will or the kindness to plead guilty and she was forced to relive it before the jury.

“Anyone who heard him testify would have been aware of the enormous distress caused by this. This is an old offense, but the damage you have caused is new and raw for your victim.

“It was a short-lived incident. The sheer face of the tape was heinous and you didn’t destroy it, you kept it for about 20 years. It was recovered by the police during their scrutiny after your arrest for contempt of public decency in an act of upskirting.”

Spraggon has not faced any allegations in the case for which he was originally arrested and has no previous convictions. The court heard that he had not distributed the recording of the rape.

Shaun Routledge, defending, said Spraggon worked hard for a local asbestos removal council and supported his family.

After the case, Detective Jonathan Askew said: “I absolutely want to salute this woman’s bravery and her unwavering strength throughout this case. Have an officer show up completely unannounced at your door for you to say that you were raped 20 years ago while sleeping and that the man responsible filmed it is simply incomprehensible.

“Spraggon is a despicable sexual predator and has shown no remorse for his actions. I just hope today’s outcome has given the victim the closure needed to move on with his life.”

Debbie Breen of CPS North East said: ‘It was only by chance that officers discovered the footage of this not-recent rape during a search of Spraggon’s home. It was clear from the footage that his victim had taken no active part in the sexual act and, when questioned by the police, she was completely unaware that Spraggon had even carried out the attack or filmed it.

“Obviously this has been particularly distressing for the victim. We have worked closely with the police to build a solid case against Alan Spraggon and we sincerely hope that his sentencing today will bring some comfort to his victim.

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