Jury considering verdict in Ipswich rape trial

Bronnagh Brannigan was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The jury in the trial of an Ipswich man accused of raping a drunk woman at an 18th birthday party at a house in the town has retired to consider its verdict.

Before Ipswich Crown Court is 23-year-old Keiffer Sewell,  of Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, who has denied raping the woman, who is in her 20s, four years ago in 2017 when he was 19.

It is alleged that after the woman was sick and went to her bedroom after having too much to drink Sewell undressed her and raped her.

He is also alleged to have put his hand over her mouth to muffle her cries for help.

The police were called and Sewell’s full DNA profile was found on internal swabs taken from the alleged victim, said Roger Smith, prosecuting.

Giving evidence during the trial Sewell said the girl had kissed and hugged him while they were in the garden during the party and while she was throwing a sex toy around he had caught it and thrown it back to her.

He said the woman’s mother had asked him to take her to her bedroom after she was sick because of the amount she had to drink.

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She had got under the covers with her clothes on and while he was sitting on top of the covers next to her she had asked him for a cuddle.

Sewell said he had rubbed the woman’s back and had accompanied her to the toilet and held her hair out of the way when she went to the toilet to be sick.

After he returned to the party he heard a loud noise upstairs and when he went to investigate he found the alleged victim on the floor leaning against her bed with no top on.

Sewell said the woman’s mother had put a top on her and had thanked him for looking after her daughter.

He said that shortly afterwards he was asked to leave the party and was accused of being a rapist.

He said he felt disgusted when he was called a rapist because it’s  not the kind of person he is.

“I was upset because all I’d wanted to do was help,” said Sewell.

He denied removing the woman’s clothes and raping her.

The jury retired to consider its verdict on Monday afternoon and is expected to continue its deliberations on Tuesday (August 17).