Party guest gives evidence in Ipswich rape trial

Ipswich Crown Court

Keiffer Sewell is on trial at Ipswich Crown Court for rape - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich party-goer has recalled being clung to by the "petrified" half-dressed victim of an alleged rape.

The witness took the stand on Wednesday to give evidence in the trial of Keiffer Sewell – accused of raping a woman during a birthday party in 2017. 

The woman, in her 20s, began drinking at lunchtime on the day of the party – becoming so drunk she was sick and unable to stand unaided, Ipswich Crown Court was told earlier this week.

Roger Smith, prosecuting, told jurors the woman was taken upstairs by party guest Sewell, and allegedly raped in a bedroom.

On Wednesday, another male party guest told jurors the pair had been "very flirtatious", but added: "Because drink was involved, everyone was friends – but he seemed to be taking things a step further.

"At one point, I remember her giving me a worried sort of face."

The prosecution witness told jurors he later went upstairs to check on his sleeping daughter and looked in on the alleged victim, who was curled up on top of the bed next to Sewell.

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"I asked if she was alright," he told the court.

"He answered on her behalf – he said yeah, yeah, she's fine."

The guest told jurors he later returned to the room and found the woman on the floor, naked from the waist up and vomiting into a bucket.

He described her as being "petrified", adding: "She grasped on to me, giving me a cuddle, telling me not to leave her alone."

The court previously heard that Sewell was told to leave the party after the woman told friends and family she was raped.

His DNA was subsequently found on internal swabs taken from the alleged victim, prosecutor Mr Smith said earlier this week. 

Sewell, 22, of Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, has denied raping the woman four years ago, when he was 19.

He told police the pair had kissed while in the garden, but that he had not pursued it because she was drunk.

He later said a sex toy had been thrown around at the party, and that his DNA may have been transferred to the woman’s hand after he caught and threw it back.

The trial continues.