A trainee lawyer ‘raped’ a drunk law student during a housewarming hosted by a new colleague before harassing another sleeping young woman, a court has heard.
Tom Hagyard, 29, had been working for a commercial law firm in the capital for a few weeks when his new colleagues invited him to a house party in Fulham, west London.
He came to the event with a bottle of wine after treating his family to a celebratory three-course meal on his first paycheck – and told Isleworth Crown Court he was looking forward to a ‘distinguished career’ before his arrest.
During the early morning hours at the Fulham party, Hagyard was accused of raping one woman and sexually abusing another who had dozed off on the couch.
The rape accuser, who was in his twenties, claimed she was “nine or ten out of ten drunk” when she passed out, waking to find a stranger raping her.
The second woman was lying on the sofa when Hagyard unbuttoned her top and began to touch her under her bra, the London court was told.
Hagyard, who attended a £15,000-a-year private school, has denied five rape and assault charges.
Trainee lawyer Tom Hagyard, 29, was charged with raping a drunk law student and molesting another sleeping woman at a party in Fulham, west London in 2017
Hagyard (pictured in 2016) came to the event with a bottle of wine after treating his family to a celebratory three-course meal with his first paycheck
However, Hagyard told the trial that he had talked to both complainants that night and told police the first woman was a “willing and eager” partner, and denied that he had raped her.
He pleaded not guilty to a charge of rape of the law student at the £700,000 two-bedroom Fulham Road address in west London in 2017, plus two counts of assault by penetration.
Hagyard also pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexually assaulting the second young woman, also in her 20s, later that same night as she slept on the living room couch.
He was reported to the police, who did not order a DNA test and was questioned by officers two days later.
Hagyard told the jury that the party host had invited him to sleep in her bed and lie down next to the first complainant.
“She immediately rolled over to me and kissed me. I was surprised, but I liked her and found her attractive.’
Hagyard said that sexual activity followed by consent but did not lead to full-blown sex and he remained fully clothed the entire time, unlike the woman whose jeans he took off.
Hagyard said consensual sexual activity followed but did not lead to full-blown sex and he remained fully clothed, unlike the woman whose jeans he took off.
“She almost gasped when I touched another part, they were all pleasant sounds.”
The woman told the jury through her videotaped police interview that she had been drinking wine, prosecco and vodka that night.
“We were very drunk and I don’t remember much. I went to bed and woke up and there was some kind of boy on top of me,” she said.
“I went in and out of consciousness and didn’t think I could move. I stiffened a little, I wasn’t fighting him or anything.
“I remember trying to push him away. I stared at the wall for a while.
“I felt very drunk, nine or ten out of ten drunk. I kept my eyes closed for a while and I remember feeling confused.
“He was on top of me and I was in pain. I felt like I couldn’t move it or ward it off and my memory goes in and out, I have flashes.’
Hagyard told Isleworth Crown Court (above) that he spoke to both complainants that evening and told police the first woman was a “willing and enthusiastic” partner, denying that he had raped her.
Prosecutor Richard Job told the jury that the trainee lawyer-host had invited people from work, plus former school and college colleagues who continued drinking and dancing into the early hours.
The law student, fully clothed, fell into her bed next to the host around 3 a.m.
“The man was on top of her and had sex with her and her underwear was pulled to the side,” the prosecutor said.
“She was confused and unable to keep the man away from her. She went in and out of consciousness. She tried to push him away and then passed out.
‘She had never met or spoken to the man. She didn’t consent to any sexual contact, she couldn’t because she was asleep.’
Shortly after, Hagyard turned his attention to the second young woman, who was sleeping on the couch, the court heard.
‘She had also had a drink and was sleeping in her clothes. She was awakened at 5:30 am by someone touching her chest.
“The top of her bra was pulled to the side and a man’s hand was on her chest. She felt his mouth next to her ear and the words, “Shut up. It’s alright.’
“He was squatting next to her, and after touching her chest, he moved his hand to her belt and began to loosen the buckle. She was frightened and she got up and went quickly to the host’s bedroom.’
Hagyard said during the trial that he was invited by the woman on the couch and massaged her breast, at one point sliding his hand under her top. “She seemed to enjoy it and breathe pleasantly.”
The young woman later texted friends that she had been “sexually assaulted” at the party and messaged the host: “He literally sucked on my earlobe.”
When the host confronted Hagyard about his behavior via text message to both women, he replied: “It was a drunken stupid mistake and I can’t say sorry enough. I misunderstood what people were thinking.’
Prosecutor Richard Job added: “He accepted sexual contact with both women, but denied rape.
About the first complainant, he said he thought she wanted to have sexual contact with him. He stated that she was a willing and enthusiastic partner.’
Afterwards, Hagyard explained that he went to the kitchen for a glass of water and tried to wake the guest who was sleeping on the couch.
“She seemed less enthusiastic, so he stopped.”
An emotional Hagyard, who has no previous convictions, told the trial that he received a text invitation to the party while enjoying the festive family meal at a nice restaurant.
“They were new friends, so I decided to go,” he explained. “It was pretty civilized, not a wild party.”
Hagyard said he had a fun “fake psychotherapy session” with the second complainant, who hoped to practice it as a profession.
“She also tried to persuade me to dance with her and we chatted on the couch.”
He was ready to leave when the host invited him to sleep on her bed, where the first complainant had already passed out, the court heard.
“She said it was too late to go home and suggested I share the bed with her,” Hagyard explained. I was a little wary of her because she was a little bit in love with me and was on the rise before that.’
The process continues.