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‘He tried to push her to the bedrooms’ court hears creepy details of prison guard’s sexual assault of young woman

Last updated on 2023-05-18

A brutal case of abuse of powers are being heard before the CroydonCrown Court case after a case involving a prison officer sticking his hands down a woman’s garments. According to the case, Joseph Dawson is accused of attempting to sexually assault a woman who was clearly drunk after another prison guard and her husband witnessed the alleged incident. Witnesses of the incident at a party for HMP Wandsworth staff have in most cases described the incident as troubling.

Colleagues per the case had to push Dawson off of the young woman as he had been attempting to ‘push’ her towards the bedrooms as she was ‘crawling on all fours.’

The July 2021 incident resulted in two counts of sexual assault for Dawson who denies all charges. While not identified in the case, the female prison guard in question had consumed a litre of vodka and several shots at a party hosted mainly for Echo Wing staff.

On his part, Dawson maintains that the woman consentned to Dawsoon touching her breasts before she ‘willingly’ spread her towards towards him. On the young woman’s part, she maintains that she did not do so and has no recollection of ever having provided consent for any of it.

Prosecutor Kathryn Hirst told the bewildered jury: ‘These were mostly all prison officers at the party at the home of a colleague, who had an overground pool in the back garden.

‘Everybody was enjoying themselves and having a good time and at various stages the complainant got into the pool and Mr Dawson got in the pool with her and picked her up and slapped her bottom, which she describes as playful.

‘He was very intent on her wearing a bikini and she was wearing a flimsy bikini and was entitled to do that and to have a good time.

‘She had a lot to drink and she was very, very drunk. She drank an awful lot and had northing to eat and was so drunk she has no recollection of what happened to her.’

At one point throughout the night, Dawson and the young woman were hanging out around a couch with felow prison officer Vedan Bolaky, 41, and her husband Keith Sowerby, 63.   According to prosecutors, the duo witnessed everything that happened after that.

‘They noticed him putting his hand down her bikini top and massaging her breast and then putting his hand down her bikini bottom,’ Ms Hirst said. 

‘They made eye contact and he quickly removed his hand. Shortly afterwards the complainant is seen on all fours being pushed upstairs by this defendant and some of the female guests ‘headed him off at the pass’ and made sure nothing happened.’

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