Briton with sexsomnia walks free in sexual assault case

October 29th, 2010 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 29 (IANS) In a landmark case, a Briton has been cleared of sexually assaulting a woman because he suffers from “sexsomnia”, a media report said Friday.

The rare medical condition caused window fitter Darren Greenwood to be sexually active while he was asleep, a jury was told Thursday, Daily Express reported.

Greenwood, 33, walked free from Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex, after his bizarre defence won the backing of medical experts.

He had pleaded not guilty to assault by penetration and sexual assault on a 21-year-old woman who had agreed to him getting into bed with her.

Experts told the court during the four-day trial that Greenwood was “a good example of sexsomnia” because he had “no knowledge or voluntary control of his actions”.

The incident took place at a house in Loughton, Essex, where Greenwood was living. The woman was one of a group who arrived there after a night out.

Prosecutor Richard Potts said that at the time of the alleged incident she was asleep and could not have consented.

He told jurors that Greenwood had allowed her to sleep in his bed and she had said it was okay for him to get into bed with her.

Sexsomnia expert professor Matthew Walker told the jury: “It’s likely to be rare and under-reported because of the embarrassment. It mostly occurs between partners and involves sex. It usually occurs with a person in bed.”

Greenwood told police he did not wake up until 11 a.m. and was “oblivious of anything that happened”. It took the jury less than two hours to clear him.

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