AN Army veteran accused of rape had a history of peeing in laundry baskets in his sleep and was suffering from sexsomnia, a court heard.
Peter Atilla, 46, claims he was asleep when he attacked a woman ex-soldier after returning from a six-month tour of Afghanistan with the elite unit.
The ex-Warrant Officer, who spent 26-years with the Royal Logistics Corps, had met her through the Army and they agreed to go to bed together.
But the woman, who cannot be named, said she woke to find Atilla naked on top of her.
He denies rape saying he was suffering sexsomnia – the medical term for having sex while asleep.
Atilla had a history of urinating in cupboards and bins after drinking booze and had downed three cans of lager the night before the alleged attack, a jury heard.
Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard he may have been in “action mode” after returning from a tour attached to the SAS.
Renowned sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski told the court: “He has just come back from a high combat situation, he was still in action mode.
“This could have come through in his sleep."
Dr Idzikowski, a leading authority on sleep since 1976, said it was possible he could have undressed his victim while in a deep sleep.
The court heard Atilla, who won the Good Conduct Medal, during his 26 years in the Army, had no memory of having sex with the woman the next day.
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His "shocked" victim told him what happened but she did not report him to police until three years later.
Atilla’s sleeping behaviour was monitored by experts before the trial.
Doctors discovered he stopped breathing in his sleep, grinded his teeth and talked.
Dr Idzikowski said: “These are all potential indications that he is predisposed to having sex in his sleep.”
The court heard sexsomnia is extremely rare with just 95 cases recorded worldwide but instances have risen over the last 15 years.
Consultant forensic psychologist Dr Chandan Seghal said there were no signs that Atilla was suffering from post-traumatic stress from his experiences in Iraq and Kosovo.
He told the court the alleged rape could have been sparked by the pair cuddling before falling asleep.
Dr Seghal said: “The start of an act of intimacy could be the priming factor of an act of sexsomnia.
“The evidence of some sort of sleep disorder is weak but it can’t be excluded.” Atilla, of Northampton, left the Army in 2006 and became a reservist before being posted to Afghanistan on attachment with the SAS in 2012.
He denies the May 2013 rape. The trial continues.
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