Daily Mail (London), October 17, 2011
The party-loving son of Britain’s first black Cabinet minister sexually assaulted a girl while she was asleep on the sofa and ‘dead to the world’ at a friend’s party, a court heard today.
Benjamin Boateng, 27, whose father is Lord Boateng, allegedly crawled under a quilt and assaulted the girl after she had ‘passed out’ at the end of a night of clubbing in the West End.
She had the ‘shock of her life’ when she eventually woke up and discovered what was happening.
The girl, 22 at the time of the alleged attack on 19 September last year, had been out clubbing with her friend Frances and ended up in the VIP area of the Jet Black club in Tottenham Court Road at around 4am.
Frances was also a friend of the son of the club’s owner, Ryan Bish, and they were given champagne and vodka and later invited back to Mr Bish’s Battersea flat to continue the party, Kingston Crown Court was told.
They arrived at the property at around 7.55am and 15 or so minutes later Boateng, whose father was Chief Secretary to the Treasury, arrived with his friend.
The group carried on drinking and talking until the woman, having had a lot to drink, lay down on the sofa and fell asleep, the court heard.
The group eventually moved into another room but a business associate of Mr Bish’s, Mark Rowe, fell asleep on the second sofa in the same room.
Heather Norton, prosecuting, told jurors that when the woman had fallen asleep she had been uncovered–a detail confirmed by Mr Rowe–but when she woke up she had been covered with a quilt and Boateng was on top of her sexually assaulting her.
Her knickers had been pulled down, Ms Norton said, and as she was disorientated she initially thought it was her boyfriend.
When she realised what was happening, she pushed him off, shouted ‘who the hell are you?’ and ran sobbing into the next room, jurors heard.
Ms Norton said: ‘The complainant, who had during the course of the evening been drinking a fair amount, fell asleep, perhaps passed out, on the sofa.
‘When she woke up she found that she had been covered with a quilt or a throw.
‘She also found that she was not alone. Mr Boateng was also under the quilt.’
She added: ‘This was not something she consented to. She had been asleep and he must have known perfectly well that she was.
‘He took advantage of the state of unconsciousness she was in to sexually assault her.’
In her video interview with police the woman, who is now 23, said she was sick four times the next day and was only persuaded to go to police after phoning her mum.
Noting that she had barely spoken to Boateng that evening, she said: ‘I don’t really remember what the flat looked like. Then everything went blank.
‘I remember lying down on the settee and everyone was still in the room at the time.
‘I fell asleep which is unusual for me because usually I just go home at that point.
‘My friend said I was dead to the world. The next thing I knew, I woke up with a quilt on me.’
She claimed that Boateng was on top of her and kissing her, leading her to believe he was her boyfriend.
After realising he wasn’t, she asked him to tell her where she was–to which he replied: ‘You’re in Battersea, babes, relax.’
She went on: ‘I got the shock of my life. I said “who the hell are you?” I pushed him off.
‘My knickers had been pulled down as well. I pushed him off and ran into the other room. I was crying.
‘He was saying, “what are you talking about, she’s lying?” as if I had just made it up.’
Referring to the account of Mr Rowe, the second man in the room, Ms Norton said: ‘At some point Mr Rowe was woken up and noticed [the complainant] was now covered with a throw or a quilt.
‘He also noticed she was not alone and Mr Boateng was under there too.
‘He could see that the quilt was moving around. He went back to sleep but was woken by a commotion.
‘It was the complainant saying words to the effect of “how could you do that when I was asleep? I don’t know who you are.”‘
Mr Boateng, who lives in West London, denies assault by penetration in response to the allegations.
The trial continues.