Man acquitted of date rape

Saturday November 23, 2019 Written by Published in Crime
Defence counsel Norman George and his client Wilfred Dauvois walk out of the High Court yesterday. 19112254 Defence counsel Norman George and his client Wilfred Dauvois walk out of the High Court yesterday. 19112254

Counselling group says case is reminder that someone who is drunk or drugged cannot consent to sex.

 

Wilfred Dauvois gave a thumbs up as he walked out of the High Court, found not guilty of drugging and raping a woman. “I am happy, I won the case,” the 38-year-old said outside the court yesterday. “I can get back to my normal life for now and I thank the jury.”

But that’s not the whole story. Because in two weeks, he returns to court to set a sentencing date for assaulting another woman – a charge that he has pleaded guilty to.

He will appear again on December 5 before a JP.

This week, Police and the Crown had told how Dauvois drove a woman from bar to bar, buying her drinks and offering her more in the car. He was alleged to have spiked her drink with a party drug, before taking her home and raping her when she was barely conscious.

However, Dauvois took the stand in his own defence, saying the sex was consensual and that in the morning, he had asked her to launder the bloody sheet and driven her home.

Defence lawyer Norman George was jubilant at yesterday’s acquittal, commending the jury for a smart decision.

“The jury was put to the test and they rose to the occasion and I would say long live our jury system, they performed magnificently with all the difficult facts to consider.”

Dauvois had been accused of dosing a bottle of Heineken with a party drug, and giving it to the victim to drink, George said. “But what they did not see was that he was drinking from the same bottle, it did not affect him. We told the jury it can’t be.”

Punanga Tauturu Inc’s Rebeka Buchanan was more cautious about the verdict. The women’s counselling organisation coordinator said the case provided an important reminder: if someone is very drunk they are not in a position to agree to sex.

It was important to keep a close eye out for women being drugged or plied with alcohol. “Anyone who manipulates or changes the environment to suit themselves is up to no good,” she added.

Justice Peter Woodhouse had earlier reminded the jurors that they were judges of the facts and should not have any prejudice for the victim or the defendant. They must not allow their decision to be affected by the nature of the charges.

It took three hours for the jury to reach its verdict.

 

 

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