Man accused of raping woman ‘a sexual predator’, court told

PUBLISHED: 05:30 10 December 2019

The Buttermarket area of Ipswich town centre  Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Buttermarket area of Ipswich town centre Picture: GREGG BROWN

A man accused of raping a woman in her flat has denied prowling round the Buttermarket and other parts of Ipswich town centre “looking for vulnerable women to take advantage of.”

Jacob Young was shown CCTV footage at Ipswich Crown Court of him walking around the Buttermarket area and repeatedly going up and down Silent Street.

He claimed he had been looking for friends who might have been out in the town that night.

Cross-examined by prosecution counsel Jane Oldfield, Young denied he had been "on the hunt" for a vulnerable woman to take advantage of that night.

Young, 18, of Beechcroft Road, Ipswich, has denied rape, an alternative charge of attempted rape, assault and stealing the woman's handbag on October 13 last year.

He accepted seeing the drunk victim of the alleged rape being helped by her boyfriend and following them to their flat after the couple left the Unit 17 nightclub in Cardinal Park at around 1.30am.

He claimed he had done so with the intention of helping the woman's partner if she fell over.

He denied following them after hearing the boyfriend say he would have to go back to work after he had taken her home.

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As they were walking through the town Young was seen on CCTV allegedly walking behind them and following them through an archway.

The alleged victim's boyfriend had left her handbag by the front door while he helped her into the flat, and when he returned shortly afterwards it was missing.

He had then left his girlfriend in the flat alone while he went back to work.

Miss Oldfield alleged that Young stole the handbag and was captured on CCTV with it.

She said he may have been looking for keys or an excuse to go to the woman's flat.

After his arrest Young said he had gone to the flat to tell the woman someone had stolen her handbag and claimed she had invited him in and said she wanted to have sex with him.

Miss Oldfield described Young as a "sexual predator" and claimed that before the alleged rape he had hidden in bushes in Cardinal Park and taken photographs of scantily clad women.

He was later captured on CCTV walking round the town centre and allegedly changing direction to follow women.

The trial continues.

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