A SHOPFITTER who encouraged a friend to carry out a drunken street sex attack has been branded as disgusting and disgraceful after he filmed the rape on his mobile phone.
Stephen Ball was the foreman in charge of a pub refurbishment when he went on a drunken night out which ended in a helpless woman being humiliated in public in front of horrified passers-by.
He egged on his workmate Richard Evans and used his mobile phone to film him as he engaged in a sex act with the senseless victim who was slumped against a wall with her eyes closed and her mouth open.
Ball, 39, was caught on town centre CCTV cameras in Bideford, as he laughed with his friend about the sex attack, which took place at dusk and was witnessed by children and shop customers.
Police arrested him and Evans after being called by disgusted spectators and seized his phone. He tried to delete the incriminating footage but it was recovered by experts and showed the whole assault.
Ball, of Littlewood Lane, Cheslyn Hay, Walsall, admitted encouraging and assisting rape and was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, ordered to do 250 hours unpaid community work and pay £770 costs by Judge Francis Gilbert at Exeter Crown Court.
Evans, 37, of Dyas Avenue, Birmingham, admitted rape and was jailed for four and a half years at an earlier hearing by the same judge.
Judge Gilbert told Ball: "You and Evans were with the victim in Jubilee Square at 9.30pm and the woman was sat up against railings beside a convenience store, so drunk she was effectively unconscious.
“The CCTV shows her in a completely lifeless state with her head lolling backwards, her mouth wide open and eyes close, apparently unaware of what was happening to her. She was in such a state she had to be taken to hospital.
“You were filming what was happening. It was a disgraceful and disgusting activity for which you should be totally and utterly ashamed.
“Evans was jailed for rape but I can take a more lenient view with you because you were not the rapist yourself. You admitted that the woman was in no fit state to consent and that you encouraged him and filmed what he did.
“I bear in mind the references I have read, that you have no previous convictions, that you were drunk and that you are ashamed and disgusted with yourself.”
Miss Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said the offence happened in Jubilee Square, Bideford, on the evening of May 21 this year when Ball and Evans had gone out drinking after working on a pub renovation.
They met the victim, plied her with alcohol, and Evans sexually assaulted her after she passed out.
She said: "Needless to say it was clearly a degrading experience for her, for which Evans has already been jailed.”
Mr Nigel Wraith, defending, said references showed Ball to be a hard working man with no history of offending.
He said: "He is of impeccable character and he has ruined that in a moment of crass stupidity and it is something he deeply regrets and will for ever more.
“He is thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour and finds it hard to believe he acted in that way, which was so contrary to his character.”