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Friday, 07 October 2022 – A university teaching assistant has been jailed for nine years for raping a woman he met on a night out while taking multiple photos of her during the attack.

Dayan Garcia, aged 31, was arrested and charge with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of rape, all on the same woman understood to be in her 50s – following a night out in Plymouth on April 29 this year.

He had pleaded guilty to the violent assault on the woman but denied he sexually assaulted her and faced trial at Plymouth Crown Court in front of a jury of four men and eight women.

A court heard that the victim had found herself separated from her friends whilst out. She met Garcia in Mambo nightclub in Plymouth, Devon, on Friday, April 29, and agreed to go back to his address at around 2am.

As they got home, Garcia hit the victim’s head twice after she resisted his advances, and went on to rape her.

During a trial at Plymouth Crown Court, the jury heard how the victim suffered extensive bruising and facial injuries and feared for her life.

The victim managed to flee the scene with Garcia’s phone and fast-tracked inquiries led to his identification and arrest on the evening of April 30, 2022.

At his trial, the jury were shown sanitised versions of three of the ten pictures he took on his mobile phone during her ordeal.

Garcia was quickly remanded the next day for two counts of rape and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH).

Prior to his trial, which began on September 27, Garcia changed his plea to guilty to the ABH offence, but not guilty to the two counts of rape.

However, he was found guilty of both counts after a four-day trial.

Garcia was also put on the sex offenders register for life and told any future work would be vetted by the Declaration and Barring Service. 

His victim wrote a personal statement that said she had suffered deep psychological trauma and now only leaves her home to go to work.

During sentencing, the judge told Garcia: ‘You were a young man with a life full of promise ahead of you before you threw it all away by your violent conduct that night.

‘The jury were sure you struck her twice in the face when she tried to stop you taking off her leggings.

‘She was so frightened by what you had done that she simply submitted to ensure that you did not hit her again.

‘This was not a simple misunderstanding due to over-enthusiastic striking of her in the course of rough sex.

‘There has been a lasting psychological effect on her, demonstrated by the fact she does not leave her home other than to go to work.

‘Her statement shows the extent to which you have diminished her life.’

Mr. Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, said the oral rape was aggravated by Garcia taking seven to ten still photographs of it on his phone and by him giving her wine before the attack.

Mr. Lee Bremridge, defending, said Garcia ‘came to Plymouth as a highly educated and skilled man with a very promising future and career ahead of him.’

Garcia was a PhD student at Plymouth’s department of Architecture and Built Environment where he has also carried out some teaching.

A statement from Devon and Cornwall Police after the case said: ‘Devon and Cornwall Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) welcome the custodial sentence of Dayan Garcia for the serious offences for which he stood trial.

‘We would like to recognise the bravery of the victim in both coming forward to report these significantly traumatising offences and for providing detailed accounts of what happened, both at the time of the offence and during the trial.

‘We would also like to thank the witnesses who gave supporting evidence in this case. Without the support of the general public and a willingness to attend court, these convictions would be more difficult to secure.’

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