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Jury begin deliberations in Ipswich alleged gang rape case

PUBLISHED: 18:01 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:04 20 April 2017

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Jury deliberations in the trial of four Ipswich men accused of taking it in turns to rape a vulnerable 15-year-old girl began today.

James Bamber, 29 of Burns Road, Bartosz Kowalewski, 32, of Norwich Road, Mateusaz Nowakowski, 25, of Yarmouth Road, and Aurimas Nabazas, 34, of Lavender Hill, have denied two offences of conspiracy to rape.

Kowalewski also denies facilitating the travel of the teenager with a view to her being sexually exploited.

On October 16 last year, the teenager met up with Kowalewski and he allegedly took her to a house in Bulwer Road, Ipswich, which the prosecution says was used as a clubhouse by him and fellow members of a gang called “Soldiers of Odin”.

The prosecution claim Kowalewski telephoned his friends and invited them to come to the house with the intention of plying her with drink and drugs so they could use her for their sexual pleasure.

The prosecution said the girl was “off her head and out of it” because of drugs and alcohol she had been given, and was aware of men taking it in turns to allegedly have sex with her.

Summarising the evidence at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Martyn Levett told the jury they must consider the case against each defendant separately.

He said: “It is important for you to look at all the surrounding evidence. The prosecution says there was a conspiracy to rape, and you should consider the evidence of who arrived when and who picked up who, and ask yourself are you sure there was a conspiracy to rape?

“The defence says there was no such agreement and what occurred was instigated by the girl.

“You have to consider the evidence and rely on what you think is reliable.”

Judge Levett spoke to the jury about the evidence given by the teenager.

“In police interview she said three or four men had sex with her and gave her drugs.

“In her words, she said, ‘They give you drugs and think you owe them. They forced themselves on me and all men took it in turns’.

“She said the men knew her age and that she was not willing to do those things. She said she only went to Bart’s to get some cannabis.

“She said, ‘I was told by them to say I hadn’t had sex with anyone. I’m not making this up’.”

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