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Man, 61, jailed for sexually assaulting another man

John Soul

A 61-year-old man has been jailed after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting another man.

John Soul, of Ship Lane, Redcliffe, was sentenced to five years and four months in prison after he was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Friday 24 November.

He had previously pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration.

The court heard how, on 19 November 2021, the victim, who was in his early twenties, had been on a night out with friends in Bristol before being separated from them.

The victim doesn’t recall anything else until the following day, believing he had been drugged, when he woke up having been sexually assaulted.

Soul was identified through forensic evidence and the two were not known to each other.

He was charged in May last year and pleaded guilty in February this year.

In a personal statement, the victim said: “Telling my parents was really difficult, this is not the sort of thing you anticipate having to tell [them] and during this I cried, which was the first time I have cried in a long time.

“As a tall, young, heterosexual male, this has made me feel particularly vulnerable and, in fact, that itself was probably worse than the incident itself. It has really knocked my confidence and self-esteem.

“It has been a horribly traumatic incident, I myself feel quite mentally strong but even I have been traumatised by the whole incident… This is all due to the actions of another person who takes advantage of individuals when they are vulnerable.”

Officer in the case, DS Amy Hewitt, said: “The victim in this case has been extremely brave in coming forward to police.

“He put aside his own concerns and wanted to make sure no one else was hurt by Soul and to keep others safe.

“Soul is a predator who sought out an individual who was alone and vulnerable and took advantage of that.

“There is a huge stigma in reporting sexual offences and an even bigger stigma in reporting same sex assaults, especially in relation to men.

“I want to encourage any victim to report any concerns to police, where their report will be investigated to its fullest.”

Alongside his custodial sentence, Soul will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register once he is released from prison.

If you are a victim of rape or sexual assault, please come forward. It is never too late to report offences to police.

Victims of rape or sexual assault, recent or non-recent, can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website at www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.

You can also visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org for details of charities and organisations who are experts in supporting victims.