[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 23 May, 2003, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Date-rape drug attacker jailed
David Meachen
Meachen had enough GHB to knock out 16 people
A man who tricked a woman into drinking a date-rape drug before sexually assaulting her has been jailed for 10 years.

David Meachen, 52, a satellite TV installer from Carmarthen, admitted indecently assaulting the woman and causing her grievous bodily harm.

Swansea Crown Court heard that the 38-year-old victim, a mother-of-two, was badly injured by the ordeal and is currently awaiting surgery.

The jury was told how Meachen - also known as Dai the Dish - bought the rape drug called GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) for 5 and went "on a mission".

When arrested he was found to be in possession of enough of the drug to knock out 16 victims - which he kept hidden inside a Lucozade bottle in his car.

Kevin Riordan, prosecuting , said the woman had called into the bar at Carmarthen Rugby Club on 6 August last year, to buy cigarettes but ended up drinking a pint of cider and talking to Meachen.

She told police that she remembered Meachen followed her but events soon after were a blank.

Mr Riordan said police recovered a urine sample taken at the time of the incident and his victim had been given such a high dosage of ghb that forensic scientists were still able to detect a trace.

Under that amount of the drug, the jury heard, she would have been severely under the influence, and may well have been unconscious.

Mr Riordan told the court that at some stage during that evening, Meachen had given her GHB, which he described as a date-rape drug.

The next thing the victim can remember is waking the next morning naked and confused and convinced she had been raped.

Drink being laced with a drug
Drink being laced with a rape drug

Meachen was questioned at the time and admitted meeting the woman. He claimed all they had done was kiss and he was not charged with any offence because of his victim's lack of recall.

But four months later police stopped Meachen and searched his car, where they found a Lucozade bottle containing GHB. He was re-arrested.

He was charged with rape, indecent assault and two counts of wounding with intent.

But on Wednesday, he was cleared of rape after the jury was directed by the judge to return the not guilty verdict.

But Meachen did admit assault and wounding but denied rape.

Sentencing him on Friday, Judge Christopher Morton ordered Meachen to register with the police as a sex offender for the rest of his life.




SEE ALSO:
Stirrers raise rape awareness
26 Apr 03  |  Nottinghamshire
Hundreds hit date rape site
09 Jan 03  |  Scotland
'New date rape laws planned'
28 Oct 02  |  Politics
'Date rape' drug banned
10 Dec 01  |  UK News



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific