Edward Weeks, 33, from Cwmbran, South Wales, recorded the sick attack on motion-sensitive cameras in his bedroom with Tina Lewis unaware of what was happening until she inadvertently discovered the footage.
Weeks’ attack took place on December 28 last year while the victim was asleep.
Ms Lewis – who also suffered with ADHD and emotional problems – told her social worker after finding the video.
However, the investigation process became too much for her and she died by suicide.
Matthew Cobbe, prosecuting, said: ‘Ms Lewis suffered from autism, emotional dysregulation, self-harm, and at times [was] suicidal. She presented as childlike and she carried a special teddy bear with her.’
Setting out the chronology of events, he told the court how Weeks let Ms Lewis stay at his home on the day of the attack.
The prosecutor explained Weeks then let her use his phone to play a game the next day.
She was able to find the video because the cameras were synched to Weeks’ phone. She then confided in her friend before a social worker reported the incident to Gwent Police on December 30.
Mr Cobbe said: ‘As a result the defendant was arrested and interviewed. The defendant [said] in an interview that he had had sex with Ms Lewis as she slept. He described in detail his movements and said Ms Lewis stayed asleep throughout.
‘He also confirmed he did not disclose it to Ms Lewis the next morning that he had had sex with her.’
The prosecutor told the court that it ‘was the processes that followed the complaint as opposed to the rape itself’ that appears to have had an “extreme impact” on the victim and led to her death.
However, he pointed out that an investigation was unavoidable once it was reported given the seriousness of the incident.
Mr Cobbe said the incident was a clear abuse of trust by Weeks given Ms Lewis’ difficulties that were known to him.
He said other aggravating factors included the fact she was asleep and it was recorded on cameras that Weeks would have known were live at the time.
Mr Cobbe read to the court a victim impact statement from Ms Lewis’ sister Saffron in which she described the pain of losing her sister in such upsetting circumstances.
Her sibling said Ms Lewis had never had an easy life, noting how her mum died when she was aged just 11.
This led to a mental health spiral for Ms Lewis who was put in care and moved from home to home as carers struggled to cater for her complex needs.
Ms Lewis’ sister said after her sibling met Weeks he became her full-time carer and she relied on him for many tasks.
Ms Lewis was someone who volunteered for charity and regularly put others before herself, it continued.
The statement said: ‘The effect on our family has been devastating…I have lost my best friend…Tina was the greatest inspiration of my life.’
Julia Cox, for Weeks, addressed the court and said: ‘This is a tragic case and nothing that I say in mitigation detracts from that.’
She told the court how her ‘remorseful’ client has a clean criminal history, entered timely guilty pleas to counts of rape and sexual assault, and cooperated fully with the investigation.
She said Weeks suffers with complex personal struggles of his own, including autism, and stated that his relationship with Ms Lewis was ‘complex’.
She said he did not place cameras in his room for sexual gratification.
She asked Judge Jeremy Jenkins to take into consideration that it was the stresses associated with the process of the investigation that directly led to Ms Lewis’ death rather than the act of rape itself.
However, Judge Jenkins later rejected this.
Addressing Weeks directly Judge Jenkins said: ‘The fact of the matter is that you committed a very wicked act and the only sentence this court can pass is one with immediate custody.’
He added: ‘Mitigation suggests there is a distinction to be made between your act and what followed. I disagree: they followed one another.
‘Once penetration had taken place and the offence admitted there was bound to be a full investigation that followed the act. The effect of the investigation proved sadly too much for Ms Lewis.’
He sentenced Weeks to eight years in prison with two-thirds of that to be spent in custody before he is released on licence.
He will also be on the sex offender register for the rest of his life.
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