A RAPIST has been jailed for four years after sexually assaulting a woman while she slept in her Bournemouth home.

Marti Nicholas David Reynolds was sentenced by at Bournemouth Crown Court on March 5 after he had been been found guilty of rape following a trial in December last year.

Reynolds, 29, and of Baardwyk Avenue, Canvey Island, was told he would spend two years behind bars before he can serve the rest of his sentence on licence.

The defendant was a student in Bournemouth when he committed the attack in October 2017.

The incident came to light when a woman contacted Dorset Police to say Reynolds had admitted to having sexual intercourse with a woman as she slept. He was arrested the same day.

Officers made contact with the victim – who is aged in her 20s and knew Reynolds as a fellow student – to take an account from her. The victim told police that she had been out drinking with friends in Bournemouth town centre on the evening of October 22, 2017.

She returned home to her address and went to bed, allowing Reynolds to stay with her as a friend. She woke in the early hours to discover Reynolds raping her and she got up and left.

Prosecuting, Simon Jones told the court that the victim was “clearly not consenting”, while in police interview the defendant had claimed it was consensual.

A victim impact statement said the outcome of the trial had given the woman a feeling of relief although it was bittersweet given the time it had taken – around three years since the attack.

Mitigating, Fern Russell said her client was of “positive good character” before reading extracts from 21 character references.

Reynolds told the author of a pre-sentence report that he felt bad and very sorry for what he had done, adding: “My mistake was I needed to be more responsible in my actions.”

Judge Jonathan Fuller QC said the defendant “prepared the woman for what he wanted” while she was asleep.

Bournemouth Echo: Marti ReynoldsMarti Reynolds

In relation to how Reynolds behaved after the assault, the judge said: “I have little doubt you had already given thought to any recrimination you may have been faced with. You were prepared and had a story.”

The judge said the defendant displayed an “arrogance”.

Reynolds had relied on the victim having a "disbelief" over what happened, which would "shame her into silence", the judge said.

The court heard that the categorisation of the offence gave it a starting point of five years’ custody, with a range of four to seven years.

Having heard the aggravating and mitigating factors, the judge decided on a four-year sentence.

In a statement after the hearing, DC Christopher Panther, of Dorset Police, said the victim was taken advantage of by the defendant. The detective said: “Marti Reynolds targeted his victim as she slept and at no point had she given consent.

“I would like to thank her for coming forward to report this offence and for the courage she has shown in standing up to Reynolds to say what he did to her was wrong and supporting the court process.

“I hope this case will again demonstrate that Dorset Police takes these offences extremely seriously. We will always listen to and support anyone who reports matters to us and offenders will be held accountable for the crimes they commit.”

Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault who wants to report it directly to the police should call 101 and ask to be put in contact with a specially-trained police officer. Always dial 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, people can contact The Shores Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0800 970 9954.