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Jury set to go out in case of men accused of raping woman

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 November 2019

Cumberland Towers on Norwich Road in Ipswich  Picture: SU ANDERSON

Cumberland Towers on Norwich Road in Ipswich Picture: SU ANDERSON

The jury in the trial of three men accused of raping and sexually assaulting a woman in a secluded car park near Cumberland Towers flats in Ipswich is set to retire to consider its verdicts.

Gheorghe Mihai, 21, of Osprey Court, Ipswich, Vasile Ciuca, 20, of Waveney Road, Ipswich, and Robert Mihai, 18, of Sirdar Road, Ipswich all deny raping and sexually assaulting the woman on August 25 last year.

Barristers in the case made their closing speeches at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday November 22 and Judge Rupert Overbury will sum up the case on Monday before the jury retires to consider its verdicts.

During the two week trial it has been alleged that the woman, who is in her early 20s, was pulled into a small car park near Cumberland Towers on Norwich Road by Gheorghe Mihai.

He allegedly kissed her and put his hand down her trousers before forcing her to perform a sex act on him.

"She said 'no' and tried to push him away but he ignored her protestations," said Gareth Hughes, prosecuting.

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After the alleged attack by Gheorghe Mihai, Robert Mihai allegedly put his hand down the woman's top and touched her breasts, and touched her between the legs over her trousers while Ciuca had acted as a look out.

During the trial the court heard a social worker who became concerned after seeing sexual activity between a young woman and a group of men in a car park near his home filmed what was happening on his mobile phone.

The witness had been at home with a friend when he became aware of the woman and three men in the car park.

The woman was sitting on a wall and two of the men were standing very close to her while the third appeared to be acting as a look-out.

The witness claimed that two of the men appeared to "take it in turns" to have sexual contact with the woman.

He was so concerned by what he saw that he called the police and filmed what was happening on his phone, the court heard.

Gheorghe Mihai accepted the alleged victim had performed a sex act on him but denied forcing her to do it.

Robert Mihai denied touching the woman sexually and Ciuca denied acting as a look out.

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