Army diver ‘rugby tackled’ woman to ground before attempting to rape her during Ipswich attack, court hears

Police at the secen of the alleged rape in Rope Walk, Ipswich

Police at the secen of the alleged rape in Rope Walk, Ipswich - Credit: Lucy taylor

A specialist diver in the army allegedly tried to rape a 21-year-old student after “rugby tackling” her to the ground as she walked home from a night out in Ipswich town centre, a court has heard.

Police tape at the site of the alleged attempted rape in Rope Walk, Ipswich

Police tape at the site of the alleged attempted rape in Rope Walk, Ipswich - Credit: Lucy taylor

The woman, who was described as “small and petite”, shouted and swore at 31-year-old Adam Bonner and begged him not to rape her after he grabbed her as she was walking along Rope Walk, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

During the alleged attack in the early hours of October 10 last year, Bonner told the woman to be quiet and at one stage he put a hoodie over her to smother the noise when she tried to shout, said Andrew Thompson, prosecuting.

The alleged attack came to an end when police officers, who had been called by local residents who heard the woman’s screams, arrested Bonner after finding him lying on top of her, the court heard

He later told police he had been drinking and his memory of what happened was “blurry”.

He said he had been walking around looking for a taxi after attending an army colleague’s leaving do.

He claimed he had been talking to a woman and they had kissed and “messed around” on the ground.

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He said he didn’t remember her screaming or telling him to get off her.

Bonner, of Ipswich Close, Sutton Heath, near Woodbridge, has denied attempting to rape the woman and an alternative charge of sexually assaulting her.

Mr Thompson told the court the alleged victim had left the Vodka Rev bar in Dogs Head Street at 1.50am and was walking home alone along Rope Walk when she was grabbed by a stranger.

“She was attacked with force and was touched and we say more would have happened by force if not for the intervention of police officers who were called by witnesses who heard the incident,” alleged Mr Thompson.

He claimed that after rugby tackling the woman to the ground near some shrubs Bonner had allegedly put his hand inside her clothing and forced her legs apart.

She then heard the sound of his trousers being undone before allegedly feeling his penis between her legs.

He claimed that when the woman tried to use her phone Bonner had thrown it into undergrowth.

Mr Thompson said witnesses called the police after hearing a distressed female voice shouting: “Get off. Stop touching me.”

He said the defendant was married with two children and at the time of the alleged attack had recently discovered his wife had been diagnosed with cancer.

The trial continues today.