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17th Jun, 2019

Man who tricked his way into drunken woman's hotel room likely to face jail term

A MAN who tricked staff at a Kenilworth hotel into giving him a key card to a drunken woman’s room by posing as her partner is likely to be facing a prison sentence.

Kieran Sodhi had denied a charge of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence after letting himself into the woman’s room at the Chesford Grange Hotel in January last year.

But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty – although they could not reach a verdict on a further charge of sexual assault.

The case was adjourned for the prosecution to consider whether to ask for a retrial on that allegation, and for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him.

The 30-year-old, of Littleover, Derby, was granted bail, but Judge Andrew Lockhart QC warned: “In granting you bail, I give you absolutely no promises that the final outcome will not be a custodial sentence.”

Prosecutor Alex Warren said in January last year Sodhi was staying at the Chesford Grange for a works do, and the woman, who was in her 20s, was also attending a function there and staying overnight.

She had too much to drink and, incapable of standing unaided, was helped back to her room by two men from her party at around 1am, using her key card to get in.

Sodhi, who had met her on a previous occasion and had been talking to her during the evening when they had both gone outside for a cigarette, had a room on a different floor.

But as the two men were putting her on the bed, fully clothed, they saw Sodhi outside her room, and he asked whether she was OK and told them that she needed to be given some water.

Sodhi was insistent he would get some from the bar, and they were concerned about his intentions, so waited with her in the room.

When he had not returned after 20 minutes, they left, with her still lying on the bed fully clothed.

But she woke up next morning to find him in her room.

Mr Warren said: “She was under the covers in bed, undressed and wearing only her knickers, and the defendant was sitting on the other side of the double bed, fully clothed.”

She asked if anything had gone on, and he said no, and that he was just looking after her, and she told him to get out – and after later speaking to her mother, the police were contacted.

CCTV recordings showed Sodhi going to her room after she had been taken there, and then leaving and, after going outside, getting a glass of water from the bar.

He then went to the reception desk where, the jury heard, he claimed to be her partner and asked for a duplicate key card to her room.

Having seen information she had provided when she had checked in, Sodhi was able to answer a security question about her home address, and was issued with a key card which he used to let himself into her room.

Giving evidence, Sodhi claimed he had acted only out of concern for her wellbeing and denied lying to get the key card.

Asked by his solicitor Nick Devine whether he had ‘any sexual designs on her,’ he replied: “No.” Sodhi also denied removing the woman’s clothes.

But Mr Warren put to the jury that ‘the only reasonable inference’ was that Sodhi had taken off her clothing and had ‘intended to commit a sexual offence on her or an offence of voyeurism by watching her asleep.’

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