Man denies touching woman sexually in town car park

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

A man has denied touching a woman sexually in an Ipswich car park and said he just wanted to befriend her.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court today, Robert Mihai admitted touching the woman's skin on the right side of her ribs when she was sat on his lap but denied any sexual touching.

Robert Mihai, 18, of Sirdar Road, Ipswich, Gheorghe Mihai, 22, of Osprey Court, Ipswich, Vasile Ciuca, 21, of Waveney Road, Ipswich, have all denied raping and sexual assaulting the woman on August 25 last year.

The court previously heard how the alleged victim, who was in her early 20s, had chatted to the three defendants after visiting a Tesco Express in St Matthew's Street and had walked along Norwich Road with them.

MORE: Alleged rape victim told 'not to say anything', court hears

When they got near to Cumberland Towers, Gheorghe Mihai had allegedly pulled her into a small car park and kissed her and put his hand down her trousers before forcing her to perform oral sex on him.

Gheorghe Mihai accepts the alleged victim performed oral sex on him but has denied forcing her to do it and claims she was a willing participant in what took place.

After the alleged attack by Gheorghe Mihai, it is alleged Robert Mihai put his hand down the woman's top and touched her breasts and between the legs over her trousers.

Ciuca acted as a look-out ready to alert his friends if anyone came down the street, it is alleged.

After the oral sex had taken place, Robert Mihai told the jury he sat next to the woman and said he "just wanted to talk to her and be friends" but his English wasn't very good.

MORE: Man accused of Ipswich rape tells court: victim was a willing participant

Asked if there was any physical contact between him and the alleged victim, Robert Mihai said that the woman had placed her hand on his leg before sitting on his leg. He then lifted her onto his lap.

Lori Tucker, defending Robert Mihai, asked him: "When she was sitting on your lap, did you ever hear the words 'no' or 'stop'?

Speaking through an interpreter, Robert Mihai replied: "No, never."

Robert Mihai admitted touching the woman's skin on the right side of her ribs but claimed she did not object in any way. He also denied touching her vaginal area over clothing.

Mrs Tucker asked: "Did you believe that she was consenting to everything that was going on at the car park?"

Robert Mihai replied: "Yes, totally, in everything which happened."

The trial continues.

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