Derbyshire student convicted of sex attack but cleared of rape

A church-going university student is facing jail after being convicted of sexually assaulting a woman as she waited for a taxi following a night out.

Sam Ringer, 20, had admitted being a "bit of a player" but denied raping or sexually assaulting four women because he was "brought up Christian."

Sam Ringer, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Photo: SWNS.

Sam Ringer, of Ilkeston, Derbyshire. Photo: SWNS.

A court heard the vicar's grandson groped one victim in Ilkeston on July 12 last year when he put his hand up her top, kissed her and put his hands on her bottom.

She told him: “What are you doing? We only met two hours ago.”

Ringer tried to suggest she brought the sexual element into their conversation, described her as "pretty flirty" and said: "I knew I hadn't done anything legally wrong."

But Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said: "In reality it was you chancing your arm. It was a straightforward and coherent account of sexual assault."

The prosecutor told jurors Ringer's respect for women "went out the window" when he went off to university with a "new sense of freedom in the air."

Ringer had offered the woman a lift but she had declined, choosing to wait for a taxi instead and did not respond to his messages.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, bravely gave evidence against him in court declining the offer of a screen.

Ex University of Worcester student Ringer was convicted of sexual assault following a trial at Hereford Crown Court.

He was was cleared of raping a second woman in her Worcester flat on November 14, 2017 and of sexually assaulting a third woman in Worcester on January 16 last year.

After more than six hours spent deliberating, the jury failed to reach verdicts on two further counts, one of rape and another involving an alleged penetrative assault.

The Crown Prosecution Service now has seven days to decide whether to seek a retrial on these two counts.

During the trial, Ringer admitted being a bit of a t**t by having unprotected sex with the women but claimed all their sexual encounters were consensual.

He said some of his accusers had flirted with him beforehand and he had felt a "connection" between him and the women.

Ringer said of the rape allegation of which he was cleared: "You could tell it was both people enjoying it."

He accepted that he had a reputation as "probably a bit of a player" but also said he was a Christian who regularly attended church.

Ringer, a second team basketball player at the university, was living at St John's Campus, Worcester, at the time the allegations were made.

The former ex-sports and exercise science student was accused of attacking two of the women on the night that he was dumped by his girlfriend.

One victim claimed she had been "treated like a rag doll" and left with injuries to her genitals.

But in a previous statement Ringer said the sex was “perfectly consensual” and she had been “aroused”.

Ringer said of the complainants: "It feels like they're all trying to get something back on me. It's absolutely outrageous."

Prosecutor Mr Jackson had said: "The case begins in when there is a new sense of freedom in the air. There is a sense of being away from discipline of home.

“But with this freedom a sense of responsibility and respect went out of the window.

“The best place to start is the very end of the evidence that we know about from July 2018 and what happened in that car park.

“The next day she was telling her manager something untoward had happened to her, that she had been sexually assaulted.

“It was a straightforward and coherent account of sexual assault."

Before the jury began their deliberations, Anna Midgley, defending, told them: “Mr Ringer has no history of sexual deviancy.

“He had a structured and loving upbringing and understands morality.

“He then goes off to university and revels in the freedom, going out three nights a week.

“He admits he has been a bit of a t**t. He has had unprotected sex and upset people by having sex with them.

“In his police interviews he gives a consistent account and corrects officers.

“If he was fabricating and making it up he would be able to fabricate one story but not four. "

Ringer must sign the Sex Offender Register as a result of his conviction for the sexual assault in Ilkeston, where he now lives with his parents.

He will be sentenced at a later date.