East Ham restaurant worker jailed for rape of his sleeping colleague

A restaurant worker from East Ham who raped a colleague while she slept has been jailed for seven years.

Arkadiosz Kowalski attacked his co-worker once she had fallen asleep after she had invited him to her into home in the run-up to Christmas 2010.

The 25-year-old victim nodded off late in the night on December 18, but awoke to find Kowalski on top of her after he had taken off her clothing.

She shouted at him to leave her home, but Kowalski later maintained that the sex had been consensual.

The Polish national was found guilty by an 11-1 majority verdict at Inner London Crown Court.

Sentencing him to seven years behind bars, Judge Lindsay Burn said: “You knew that she was sleeping and was vulnerable, but decided to satisfy your own needs.

“There was no sexual relationship between you, but she thought you were her friend. She trusted you and you knew that.

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“She had invited you over to her bedsit on 18 December, 2010, in the run-up to Christmas.

“You had met together through work and began your relationship which was strictly platonic and both of you knew that.

“She trusted you in quite intimate surroundings, in that the size of her bedsit was quite small.

“During the evening, she fell asleep and you knew she was asleep but decided to take sexual advantage of her to satisfy your own sexual needs.

“I accept that you did not intend to do that when you went to the flat initially.

“You removed her clothing and penetrated her, at which point she woke up and she told you to get out of her flat, which you did.

“I’m quite convinced you knew she was asleep and this was a callous offence.

“She was, in a sense, trusting you and you were in a considerable position of trust.”

Prosecutor Oliver Dunkin had said that Kowalski had developed a friendship with the victim while working at a branch of a restaurant chain in Docklands.

She trusted him, because of their age difference, but never had any intention of having a relationship with him, he said.

Kowalski’s defence lawyer John Barker said that prison would have a significant impact on his client because he sent his earnings back to Poland to help care for his elderly mother.

Kowalski of Wakefield Street, denied the one count of rape.

His name was added to the sex offenders register.