A 44-year-old man suspected of raping a schoolgirl threatened to kill himself, a court has heard.

Francois Havenga sent a text message saying he was sorry and that he was “going to carry on driving until he ran out of road”, Ipswich Crown Court was told on Monday.

Police were alerted and officers tried to stop Havenga on the A140 but he had sped off and had allegedly driven dangerously on the A140 and in Ipswich before decamping from his car and fleeing on foot, said Jennifer Morris, prosecuting.

Following his arrest, Havenga denied raping a schoolgirl and he also denied having a sexual interest in children.

Havenga, who is of no fixed address, has denied two offences of raping a child and an offence of driving an Audi A3 dangerously on the A140 at Brockford and Spinner Close, Ipswich.

He chose not to give evidence during his trial, which started last week, and is expected to end later this week.