Man accused of ‘taking advantage’ and raping woman in town center after suspected spiking

A woman was raped in Stalybridge town center after a suspected spiking earlier in the night, a jury has been told. Dale Garlick, 29, has admitted to having sex with the woman in the early hours of September 25 2021 but claimed that it was consensual.

Mr Garlick, of Calico Crescent, Stalybridge, is on trial at Minshull Street Crown Court, after pleading not guilty to rape. He has not been charged in relation to the alleged spiking.

Prosecution barrister Robert Smith told a jury that the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, headed into the town center at around 10.30pm in autumn, initially to use free Wi-Fi. She went to Sykes Bar a short time later and had around two pints before making her way to another bar with a small group she had just met.

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Inside the bar, the woman ordered more drinks, took some poppers and a key of cocaine, before eventually buying a blue WKD from the bar. She sat down and was approached by a man, Mr Smith told the jury.

The woman describes the man as white and balding. She also told police that he had a Polish ‘twang’.

The incident is alleged to have taken place at Stalybridge Town Hall Portico

In her police interview, the woman said that the man offered her his pint and that she took one ‘gulp’ before giving it back. She said that he then tried to push the drink towards her and told her to drink it.

After becoming worried that he was being ‘forceful’, the woman told a bouncer about the man and he was asked to leave. Mr Smith told the jury that the Crown did not submit that Mr Garlick was the man who allegedly spiked her.

Mr Smith read out a statement from Back to the 80s bouncer Wayne Taylor. He confirmed that the woman had raised concerns about a man’s behavior and said that he had also noticed a man in a checked shirt following around the bar and ‘clearly pestering’ her.

The woman told police that she ‘blacked out’ and has no memory of the night between talking to the bouncer and arriving back home, apart from a ‘very clear flashback’ of talking to a man in a checkered shirt near the Town Hall Portico and having her hands on his upper arms. She told the jury that she believes she told the man: “no thanks, I’m okay.”

CCTV taken from the town center at around 2.40am and shown to the jury showed the woman taking her leggings down and sitting on the kerb before pulling them back up. She was also seen leaning on a lamp post and Mr Smith asserted that she was intoxicated.

He said: “It is the Crown’s submission that Dale Garlick took advantage of her while she was vulnerable.”

When the woman woke up at around 12.30pm, she had pain in her abdomen and later discovered semen in her underwear, which she still had on from the night before, the court was told. Forensics confirmed that the DNA matched Mr Garlick.

The woman believes she was spiked in Back to the 80s bar
The woman believes she was spiked in Back to the 80s bar

Mr Garlick claimed that the encounter was consensual and defense barrister Mark Fireman told the jury that the woman initially started talking to Mr Garlick outside a taxi rank. Mr Fireman said that they sat on a bench and the woman initiated the sexual encounter.

The woman told the jury that she could not remember if she had initiated a conversation but admitted that she could be ‘chatty’ when she was drunk. She added that she could not remember anything from after the bar apart from the flashback and arriving home alone.

Mr Garlick denies monkfish.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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