Brighton man faces jail for raping two women

Posted On 23 Dec 2013 at 5:56 pm

A Brighton man faces jail for raping two women.

Stephen Edwards, 48, of Merevale, in Hollingdean, was convicted of raping Pauline Jenkins, 46, at her home in Woodingdean.

A jury convicted Edwards after a three-week trial at Hove Crown Court.

Pauline Jenkins was found dead at her home in Rosebery Avenue, Woodingdean, on Saturday 5 February 2011, the morning after Edwards attacked her.

He was arrested by Sussex Police.

Michael Warren, prosecuting, told the court that Pauline Jenkins had so much alcohol in her blood that she could not possibly have consented to sex.

Post-mortem tests suggested that she died from alcohol poisoning and had a blood alcohol count of 458 at the time of her death.

Stephen Edwards

Stephen Edwards

Edwards cried as he described waking up in her front room, calling an ambulance and realising that she was dead.

The family of Pauline Jenkins watched with dignity from the public balcony throughout the trial.

They listened as Edwards was accused of raping a 51-year-old woman at his Brighton flat between Wednesday 30 June and Sunday 1 August 2010.

The jury cleared him of raping the woman who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The woman did not accuse Edwards of rape until she read about the death of Pauline Jenkins, a mother of three.

Nick Valios, Edwards’s defence counsel, said that at the time the other woman was seeing Edwards, she had told her doctor and her mental health carer that her sex life was improving.

The defendant admitted that he had been abusive towards her after they stopped seeing each other. He left her unpleasant voicemails and sent her nasty text messages.

He stopped communicating with her when she was in Mill View Hospital in Hangleton.

He had met both women through the Plenty of Fish dating website.

Edwards was also convicted of two counts of raping another women at an earlier trial at Lewes Crown Court.

He was tried for attacking a 46-year-old woman he knew in Brighton between Monday 1 January 1995 and Friday 1 March 1996.

The jury returned a guilty verdict on Friday 9 December 2011 when the judge imposed reporting restrictions.

He ordered that no reports of the earlier trial be published in case they prejudiced the trial held this month.

In the trial which ended today (Monday 23 December) the judge Charles Kemp issued an injunction before the jury was sworn in.

He ordered Brighton and Hove News, The Argus and the BBC to remove stories from the web so that jurors couldn’t read about Edwards’s previous arrests and other convictions.

They included a conviction for beating up a prostitute after refusing to pay her the amount that he had agreed when he lived in Langley Crescent, Woodingdean.

After the jury returned its verdict today Detective Superintendent Nick May said: “The jury has decided that Stephen Edwards committed a serious offence against a very vulnerable woman.

“He took advantage of Pauline’s vulnerabilities for his own sexual gratification and abused her trust in the worst way possible.

“I would like to pay tribute to the family of Pauline Jenkins, who have remained dignified throughout a long wait for the trial, and who have sat through some very distressing evidence in court.

“I am also full of admiration for the strength shown by all the women who came forward and gave evidence in the two trials.

“This investigation shows the determination of Sussex Police to prosecute serious sexual offences and support victims wherever the evidence is available.”

Edwards will be sentenced on Friday 28 February.

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