A woman from Lancashire, England, believed to be the UK’s first female rapist was jailed on Friday, March 10, for four years after she admitted having sex with a sleeping man.
Tanya Lord, 41, who is a lesbian, had already pleaded guilty to the sex attack at her home in Co Armagh at an earlier hearing at Craigavon Crown Court.
Judge Patrick Lynch KC ordered Tanya to serve two years in jail and two under supervised licence conditions.
She was told by the judge there ‘seems to be no distinction to be drawn between this and the rape of a female.’
Outlining how the victim has been left mentally scarred and suspicious of people by his ordeal, the judge said ‘there’s a repeated myth that males are less susceptible’ to the consequences of sex attacks.
He revealed the victim has received counselling, is still prescribed medication for his mental health, has been left untrusting of people and ‘feels alone’ unless he’s with his kids.
In an impact statement, the victim told the court: ‘I would not wish this on anyone,’ adding that ‘encourage anyone who has been abused to come forward.’
Judge Lynch said if the myth about male victims ‘needs to be disabused, it can be disabused now by the contents of the victim impact statement I have just read out’ and warning that ‘there’s no distinction between male and female rape – the fact that a male is the victim doesn’t make it any less serious than the rape of a female victim’.
On the day her trial was due to start last December English woman Lord, from Derrylodge Manor in Lurgan, entered a guilty plea that on 23 June 2020, she caused a man ‘to engage in sexual activity …that he did not consent to the sexual activity and you did not reasonably believe that he so consented.’
The court heard how Lord forced the victim to have sex when they shared a bed at her home.
Prosecutor Joseph Murphy said the man had been drinking all day and met up Lord after she finished work on June 23, 2020.
They went back to her house, had a few more drinks and some food and then went to bed with both wearing shorts.
The victim believed that no sexual intercourse would take place because he understood that Lord was a lesbian.
The prosecutor said however that in the early hours of the morning, the victim woke and ‘felt a pain across his chest’.
He regained his senses and realised that his boxer shorts had been pulled down to his knees, his penis was inside Lord and she was ‘straddling him, bouncing up and down’.
The victim pushed her off and she pretended to be asleep. The victim got up and went downstairs ‘to process what had happened’.
He pretended to be asleep in the sofa when Lord brought his clothes down but when she left the room, he got dressed and left the property.
He then spoke to his mother and partner before reporting the incident to police.
Like any victim of a sex attack, he was taken to the Rowan rape enquiry centre where he had to endure an intimate examination, have swabs taken and be interviewed on video by specialist detectives.
It was those swabs, the court heard, that helped form an ‘overwhelming case’ against Lord because while she claimed there had been no sexual contact whatsoever, her full DNA profile was found on the victim’s penis.
When she was questioned, Lord ‘could provide no explanation’ why her DNA had been found on intimate swabs and more than two years after the incident, with repeated delays and adjournments and an aborted trial, she finally confessed her guilt at the eleventh hour.
The prosecutor argued the fact that the victim asleep when he was attacked was an aggravating feature of the case. Mr Murphy told the court that he could find no similar such case in the UK.
‘Factually this case involved a woman having sex with a man without his consent and there should be parity between male victims of sexual crime and female victims,’ he said, submitting that to do otherwise would affirm the ‘myth that men are less affected by sexual assault than women.’
Defence lawyer Michael Ward said Lord, who suffers from a personality disorder and has poor mental health, ‘has expressed remorse for her offending and some victim awareness’.
‘She understands the position she had put herself in and she expresses, through me today, her remorse and her apologies to the victim for the unfortunate and regrettable incident,’ said the barrister.
In addition to the four-year sentence, Lord was ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for the rest of her life.