Policeman who raped a woman and got her pregnant after night out is jailed for 10 years

A judge said Ben Lister carried out the attack on the woman after a night out ‘knowing she couldn’t physically fight you off’

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A police sergeant has been jailed for 10 years for raping a woman who went on to give birth to his child.

Ben Lister was found guilty of sexually assaulting and raping the woman while they were staying at the same house after a night out in 2016.

Prosecutors said the 36-year-old, who had served with West Yorkshire Police since 2007, dragged the “very drunk” woman off a sofa while she was asleep before touching her sexually as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

Ben Lister has been jailed for 10 years for raping a woman.Ben Lister has been jailed for 10 years for raping a woman.
Ben Lister has been jailed for 10 years for raping a woman.

Sentencing Lister at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Rose said he had then contacted the woman the next day, “testing the waters to see if you had got away with having sexual intercourse with a comatose woman”.

‘I knew deep down what had happened to me’

When the victim asked if they had had sex, the judge said Lister “told the first of many lies” and said they had not, but had engaged in some sexual activity.

Several months later the woman found out she was pregnant and “knew then that she had been raped,” the court heard.

DNA tests later showed Lister was the child’s father, jurors were told.

The woman went to police in January 2020 and Lister was arrested and interviewed. He denied one one count of rape and one of assault by penetration, saying any sexual contact between the two was consensual.

On Friday a jury convicted him of both counts.

It comes after a previous trial jury failed to reach verdicts in October last year.

In a victim personal statement read to the court, the woman said although she “loved her little girl to bits”, she had “always struggled since she was born”.

She said: “I really didn’t cope well throughout the pregnancy and felt like I shouldn’t have kept her, because I knew deep down what had happened to me and how she was conceived.

The woman added: “I look at her and feel she is a constant reminder of what he has done to me.

“She is such a lovely, funny, caring young girl and I already dread the future.

“I don’t want her to grow up to hate me even though I have done nothing wrong.”

‘You took advantage of her’

Judge Rose jailed Lister for 10 years for the “disgusting and persistent sexual attack”.

He told Lister: “You took advantage of her, knowing she couldn’t physically fight you off.”

The judge said: “The consequences of such were devastating for this victim because any act of rape is devastating to the victim, but devastating for her because you got her pregnant.”

The judge told Lister “You gave not for one single moment any remorse for what you did.”

He added: “You were a police officer. That carries with it a requirement that you behave in an upright, decent and proper manner at all times, whether on or off duty.

“Every woman of any age is entitled to go out and enjoy themselves and to do so knowing they will be safe throughout the evening and when they return to the comfort of a home.”

Lister had been suspended from his role with the force pending the outcome of the case. He will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life following the verdict.

Ben ListerBen Lister
Ben Lister

‘No one is above the law’

Detective Superintendent Mark Long of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate said: “I would like to praise the bravery and courage of the victim who came forward in this case. I hope this conviction demonstrates that no one is above the law.

“I would encourage anyone who has any similar concerns to come forward and report them, they can have the confidence that we will investigate and will take action.

“I have no doubt that the serious criminal behaviour of one of our officers will leave colleagues as horrified as I am.

“West Yorkshire Police expects the highest standards of conduct and behaviour from its officers, whether they are on or off duty. This officer’s actions fell far below those standards.

“It is a privilege to work for West Yorkshire Police and the vast majority of police officers, PCSOs and police staff recognise this.

“They work tirelessly to protect and serve the communities of this county and to safeguard vulnerable victims. We have all been let down by this officer.

“He still faces a misconduct case and we will be taking action to ensure our procedures will be concluded at the earliest opportunity.”

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.