Alleged rape victim feared for life

A WOMAN who was allegedly raped at knife-point in an Ipswich park nearly 20 years ago has told a court that throughout her ordeal she feared her masked attacker was going to kill her.

Jane Hunt

A WOMAN who was allegedly raped at knife-point in an Ipswich park nearly 20 years ago has told a court that throughout her ordeal she feared her masked attacker was going to kill her.

The woman, who was 17 at the time of the alleged attack in 1990, said she had felt “terrified” when a man wearing a black stocking over his head stepped out of the shadows and grabbed her as she walked through Gippeswyk Park.

Describing her ordeal to a jury at Ipswich Crown Court the woman said that as soon as the man, who was holding a kitchen knife, grabbed her she had screamed but he had put his hand over her mouth and told her to “shut up”.

He had then allegedly said that as long as she did as she was told he wouldn't hurt her and had pulled her towards the back of a hut.

There he had removed her coat and told her to strip. “I did as I was told. He had a knife,” she said.

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Asked by prosecution counsel Steven Spence how she had felt the woman replied, “Terrified. Nothing like that had happened to me before. I thought he was going to kill me.”

Speaking in a clear and composed voice the woman then described in detail how she was raped and sexually abused by her alleged attacker.

She said that at one stage she had been in so much pain she had screamed out and asked him to stop but he had carried on. “It seemed like an eternity and I started to cry,” she said.

At the end of her alleged ordeal she asked if she could get dressed and the man told her to wait until he had gone and said she shouldn't watch him or he would “damage” her.

She had been so frightened that she waited several minutes before getting dressed and then waited several more minutes before leaving the park.

She said she hadn't called the police immediately because she was worried he would come up behind her and cut her throat.

She had eventually walked to a telephone kiosk and contacted the police.

Before the court is Phil Collins, 50, of Dickens Road, Ipswich, who has denied raping the woman and two offences each of indecent assault and buggery on her in January 1990.

The court has heard that Collins was one of a number of people questioned by police at the time of the alleged rape and had denied any knowledge of it and claimed to have an alibi.

As a result of advances in DNA testing police officers carried out a “cold case” review of the alleged attack and arrested Collins last year after his DNA was found on the woman's underwear, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Steven Spence said DNA found on the victim's bra and knickers “precisely” matched that of Collins' and the chances of it coming from someone else were one in a billion.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues today (Wed).

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