By Suzy Gibson
LEICESTER – A former care worker who is HIV-positive has been jailed for 12 years for attempting to rape a disabled woman in her home.
Zimbabwean Bonface Marova went uninvited into the victim’s Leicester home after she had taken pain relief medication and was drowsy.
He had befriended her through a mutual friend but turned up unannounced, entering via an unlocked door and asking to use the toilet.
Leicester Crown Court was told he said to the woman, in her late 50s: “Has anyone ever told you you’re beautiful?”
She was left traumatised after he pinned her to her chair and touched her breasts before trying to rape her.
Marova, 48, of Woodcote Road, Braunstone, Leicester, denied attempted rape and sexual assault, on December 16.
He claimed he once put his arm around her shoulders in a friendly manner to comfort her, but nothing sexual happened between them.
A jury rejected his account and convicted him unanimously on both counts.
Sentencing, Judge Robert Brown said: “Rape was attempted rather than the full offence because she was wearing a surgical corset for a bad back.
“You befriended her through her close friend and delivered vegetables to her, as you did to others.
“You entered her flat by stealth, to her surprise.”
“She protested but you continued to commit the offences and she was unable to raise the alarm.
“You were aware you had HIV and you didn’t use a condom; a clearly aggravating feature.
“She was physically disabled and it was an abuse of trust by you, by the fact it was committed in her home, which you entered against her will.”
Jacqui Callan, mitigating after the verdicts, said Marova, originally from Zimbabwe, was diagnosed with HIV in 2002 and his condition was being managed as part of a drugs trial at Leicester Royal Infirmary, with daily medication.
She said: “There’s no prognosis how it will affect him long term.”
Callan said the defendant, whose wife has died, had a partner who lived separately.
He was concerned for the welfare of his four children, aged between 14 and 22, but agencies were involved and “doing their best to keep the family together,” she said.
Afterwards, Det Sgt Sarah Walker, of Leicestershire Police sex offences investigation unit, Signal, said: “It was horrific and incredibly distressing for the victim.
“She has mobility difficulties and couldn’t even get out of her chair or call for help because the medication she had taken had subdued her.
“It was worse than terrifying and she was left completely traumatised.
“Afterwards, she was too frightened to leave her home and felt imprisoned, but these verdicts will hopefully help her to reclaim her life.
“We are pleased with the sentence, which we hope brings some feeling of justice for the victim.”
Marova formerly worked as a care worker and was also involved with a shipping business, the court was told.
The jury did not learn about Marova’s HIV status until after the verdicts were announced. Leicester Mercury