GUILTY: 'Pathetic' Northampton rapist who convinced himself victim was 'up for it' convicted by unanimous jury

A jury rejected Dennis McGowan's belief that his victim was consenting after less than three hours of deliberating

Friday, 28th May 2021, 2:27 pm

A Northampton rapist who convinced himself his victim was consenting despite her pleading for him to let her go home has been found guilty.

A jury took less than three hours to convict Dennis McGowan, of Mounts Court, of forcing himself on a woman at his bedsit against her consent.

It comes at the end of a week-long trial over the incident in August 2019 where the victim claimed she was seriously sexually assaulted at the hands of four men.

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Dennis McGowan tried to convince a jury his victim had consented and was "loving it" - despite a one-hour recoding of the incident that tore that delusion down.

McGowan's co-defendant - John Cunningham, 28, of no fixed abode - was found not guilty of one count of rape and one count of conspiracy to rape.

The two other alleged attackers have not been identified.

During the trial, McGowan was asked to explain how he believed the woman was consenting.

In response, the 37-year-old scoffed and answered: "She was enjoying it. Sounded like it anyway."

But this delusion contrasted harshly with the evidence before the jury - including a one hour recording of the incident the victim made on her phone.

The jury was made to listen to the entire recording, which included the sounds of McGowan belligerently demanding sex from the woman despite her repeatedly saying no and that she wanted to go home. He then raped her in the flat's bathroom.

In cross examination, prosecutor Andrew Howarth led McGowan line by line through all the ways the woman told him no and asked him to explain exactly how she was consenting.

Mr Howarth - who in his summing up to the jury described McGowan as "pathetic and weak" - said: "She said to you, 'please sir just let me go home.' You replied, 'no let's do something in the toilet.'

"She became upset and you started to kiss her saying 'don't worry mate I'll look after you'."

"I thought I was comforting her," explained McGowan. "The door was right there, she could have left at any time.

"She was upset, but it's like not tears were streaming down her face."

When first played the recording by police, McGowan dismissed the damning evidence as "a fabrication".

"You knew that recording plainly showed you were raping her," said the prosecutor in cross examination.

"You're making it up mate," replied McGowan.

McGowan will be sentenced in mid-June.