A man who raped a woman while she slept claimed it was just a bad dream and that he had an illness which made him unaware he was doing it. 

Joshua McKay, 26, of Whitwell, Peterborough, carried out the rape between 2016 and 2017 in Peterborough.

When the woman woke up while it was happening, he told her she was dreaming.

When confronted over the phone by the woman, McKay denied the allegation and claimed he had an illness which made him rape her in his sleep and he was unaware he was doing it.

However, McKay then sent the woman two handwritten letters apologising for hurting her. He also sent messages to her in 2017, where he admitted raping her and asked her not to go to the police.

The woman confided in officers in 2019 and McKay was arrested. In police interview, he denied the allegation and claimed the sex had always been consensual.

He told officers the letters were not written by him as they weren’t in his handwriting, and he had never seen them before.

However, forensic testing of the letters later revealed McKay’s fingerprints on one of the notes - and he was served a postal requisition charging him with rape.

McKay stood trial for five days at Cambridge Crown Court in January and, after less than two hours of deliberation, jurors found him guilty of one count of rape.

He was sentenced at the same court on Friday (March 17) where he was handed seven years and six months in prison.

DC Lisa Marston, who investigated, said: “I would like to commend the victim in this case for her bravery in coming forwards and her strength in supporting a conviction, which included giving evidence at the trial.

“I hope McKay uses his time in prison to reflect on his actions, which have understandably had a lasting impact on his victim, and I hope his sentence gives her a sense of closure and justice.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of any form of sexual abuse to report it to us. Please be assured we will always treat you with the utmost sensitivity and respect.

"Reporting a sexual assault or rape can be extremely difficult. We take all reports seriously and have trained staff who support victims through the process."

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a serious sexual offence, there are support options available on Cambridgeshire Constabulary's dedicated rape and sexual assault webpage.