A man who tricked staff at a Kenilworth hotel into giving him a key card to a drunken woman’s room, planning to carry out a sexual offence on her, has been jailed.
Kieran Sodhi had pleaded not guilty to trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence after letting himself into the woman’s room, but was convicted by a jury at Warwick Crown Court.
After an adjournment for a report to be prepared on him Sodhi, 30, of Spoonley Wood Court, Littleover, Derby, was jailed for four years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
The court heard that in January last year he was staying at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth 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 one in the morning, 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 suggested that she needed to be given some water.
He insisted he would get some from the bar, and they were so concerned about his intentions, they waited in the room for 20 minutes before leaving her, still lying on the bed fully clothed.
“She has no recollection of being put to bed.
"The next thing she remembers is waking up the next morning to the sound of a mobile phone alarm,” said prosecutor Alex Warren.
“She realised it was not her phone, and that there was somebody else in her room with her. It was the defendant.
“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.
The police later checked CCTV recordings which showed him going to her room after she had been taken there, then leaving and going outside before getting a glass of water from the bar.
He then went to the reception desk where he claimed to be her partner and asked for a duplicate key card to her room.
Having seen details she had given when she checked in, Sodhi could answer a security question about her home address, and was given a key card which he used to let himself into her room.
He left after a while, leaving the key card behind, and returned to his own room, but at just after three in the morning, having changed his clothes, he again went to reception.
He told a female receptionist his girlfriend was asleep and he did not want to wake her, and was again given a duplicate key card after answering the security question.
Sodhi let himself into the young woman’s room at 3.09am and did not return to his own room until 7.32 after she had woken and told him to get out.
Giving evidence, Sodhi claimed he had no sexual designs on her and had acted out of concern for her wellbeing, because a cousin of his had died after choking on his own vomit while drunk.
He denied lying to get a key card, claiming he had given an honest account to the receptionists he spoke to – and that both of them had given him a card without asking a security question.
At the resumed hearing the court heard that his victim says in a statement that life had been going well for her, but all that changed after that night, and she no longer enjoys going out.
“She wakes at night crying because she doesn’t know what happened to her that night,” said Blondel Thompson, prosecuting.
Nick Devine, defending, said there were nine references which ‘attest to someone who is held in high regard within his religious and local community.’
“The consequences of this conviction are profound and will live on beyond the inevitable custodial sentence. While his wife attended the trial, the conviction has caused tension within the family,” added Mr Devine.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC commented: “It is important to note he went there with an intent, but there’s no evidence he did anything.”
Jailing Sodhi, the judge told him: “This has turned her whole world upside-down. She doesn’t know what happened in that room, and she has to live with that.
“I take the view you decided she was an attractive young woman, and you were keen to be with her.
Any man would have known she was close to incapable of speaking.
She had to be taken to her room, close-on unconscious.
“So keen were you to commit a sexual offence that you went to that room twice, having got the key.
There was a significant degree of planning, especially for the second visit.
“My findings are that you entered that room intending to commit a sexual offence. You did not do so, but it must have been very frightening for her.”