Cleaner says rape allegation is ludicrous

A CLEANER accused of raping a 17-year-old girl nearly 20 years ago in an Ipswich park has described the allegation as “ludicrous”.

Jane Hunt

A CLEANER accused of raping a 17-year-old girl nearly 20 years ago in an Ipswich park has described the allegation as “ludicrous”.

Phil Collins told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that he had been watching football on television at his flat in Heatherhayes, Ipswich, at the time of the alleged attack on January 14, 1990.

Questioned by prosecution counsel, Stephen Spence, Collins denied that he had gone to Gippeswyk Park, which was 1500 yards from his flat, disguised with a mask and armed with a knife and that he had raped and sexually assaulted the teenager as she walked through the park.

He described the suggestion that he was responsible for the attack as “ludicrous” and said he didn't accept forensic evidence in the case which claimed that his DNA precisely matched DNA found on the alleged victim's underwear.

“It (DNA) isn't as scientifically solid as it seems,” he said.

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Collins, of Dickens Road, Ipswich, has denied raping a 17-year-old woman in January 1990. He has also denied two offences each of indecent assault and buggery on the teenager during the alleged attack.

The victim, who is now 37, has claimed that she was raped after being grabbed by a masked man wielding a knife as she walked through Gippeswyk Park in Ipswich at night.

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.

The trial continues today (Thurs).

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