A street drinker who tried to rape a woman in a Travelodge car park has been jailed for six years. 

Rajenthiram Mithinraj, 34, of Bromley Road in Beckenham, attempted to rape a woman who could “barely walk” due to intoxication. 

The incident took place on October 11 last year when delivery driver Mithinraj and friends were drinking in the car park of the South Croydon Travelodge. 

Prior to the attempted rape, a receptionist at the Travelodge phoned police telling them Mithinraj's group were being very disruptive and were drinking in the street. 

A judge said it was "very unfortunate" that the police were too busy to attend until much later. 

 The victim said both Mithinraj and one of his friends had raped her, and told the court the incident had left her mental health in turmoil. 

A jury acquitted both men of rape but found Mithinraj guilty of attempted rape. 

Judge Clair Harden-Frost told Mithinraj: "She was clearly incapable of consenting. You knew that." 

News Shopper: Rajenthiram MithinrajRajenthiram Mithinraj (Image: Met Police)

'She was clearly incapable of consenting'

Minthinraj sat in the dock at Croydon Crown Court for sentencing on Friday morning (May 3). 

Judge Harden-Frost outlined the facts of the case. 

At around 10pm on October 11 last year Mithinraj joined his friends, who were drinking in the Travelodge car park on Brighton Road, South Croydon. 

They were asked to leave by a receptionist but instead of leaving they sat a short distance away and continued drinking. 

“The receptionist had phoned the police. I’ve heard evidence that they were extremely busy that night but very unfortunately in the circumstances they did not attend for some time,” Judge Harden-Frost said. 

The victim, who was very intoxicated, then sat with them and spoke to Mithinraj. 

Judge Harden-Frost said: “At some point she and your friend went away from you and had sex in the car park. 

“Whether that was consensual or not is a matter of dispute and the jury acquitted your co-defendant, which means no more than that they were not sure there was a lack of consent or reasonable belief in consent.” 

CCTV footage showed Mithinraj then walk over to where his friend and the victim were.

Judge Harden-Frost said: “She can be seen on CCTV struggling to walk and sort out her shorts. You must have realised that she was very intoxicated yet the CCTV shows you then took her across the car park with the intention of having sex with her. 

“The fact that you were convicted will be no surprise to anyone who has seen that section of the CCTV. She was clearly incapable of consenting. You knew that.” 

In his police interview Mithinraj told officers he could not get an erection.

Prosecutor Mr Sheikh said this may be why this was a case of "attempt" rather than rape.

News Shopper: South Croydon Travelodge on Brighton RoadSouth Croydon Travelodge on Brighton Road (Image: Street view)

'Scared to go out alone'

A victim impact statement from the woman was summarised to the court by prosecutor Mr Sheikh. 

He said: “She says she is scared to go out alone. She’s nervy, jumpy and feels humiliated and embarrassed. 

“She feels life will never be the same again as how it was. She used to like taking walks, driving, going shopping, enjoying life. Since the assault she’s confined herself to staying indoors and struggles to come to term with what happened to her.” 

Mr Sheikh said her mental health is in turmoil and she had attempted suicide since the incident. 

“Her life is going round in circles and she just can’t see an end to the constant pain and struggling she’s going through. She just wants her life back,” Mr Sheikh said. 

Six years

Laura Blackband, representing Mithinraj, said her client had lived a law abiding and religiously observant life prior to this incident. 

“He was married, but is now divorced, and was working in the local area in a cash and carry supermarket as a driver,” Ms Blackband said. 

Ms Blackband said her client is originally from Sri Lanka, but it is hoped that he will not be returned to Sri Lanka when he is released due to the “turmoil” in the country. 

Sentencing Mithinraj, Judge Harden-Frost said there was no doubt that the victim was in no state to consent. 

“The jury acquitted you of rape and convicted you of rape. There is no CCTV or forensic evidence to assist and only you know what actually happened,” she said. 

He was given a six year prison sentence.