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Pair accused of attempted rape in Ipswich allegedly 'groped' teenage woman hours before, court told

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Two men accused of an attempted rape in Ipswich allegedly groped an 18-year-old girl in a club just a few hours before, a court has heard.

George-hari Constantinescu and Danut Gheorghe, both 30, and of Farnham Road, Blaxhall, near Woodbridge, deny a charge of attempted rape and an alternative charge of sexual assault following an incident in Rope Walk, Ipswich in the early hours of Saturday, February 25.

Today, Ipswich Crown Court heard from an 18-year-old woman who claimed a group of men, including the two accused, had been staring at her and her friend as they enjoyed a night out in Degeros, in St Nicholas Street on Friday, February 24.

She said when they left Degeros for Bowmans Bar and Club, in Falcon Street, the men followed them and continued to stare at them while they were at the bar.

“They were following me and harassing me from the moment I went to Degeros,” she said.

One of the men, dressed in a cream jacket, approached her and bought her a drink, later buying her a bottle of vodka which was poured into six cups with ice.

She said she drank four drinks at the bar and was at that point ‘overly drunk’.

The teenage woman claimed he had then groped her thighs.

“He was trying to touch me on my legs when I was walking down the stairs going to the bar,” she said.

“I asked him to stop touching me.”

Later in the evening, an altercation happened after Constantinescu and Gheorghe approached her on the dance floor.

It was claimed they groped her on her bottom and thighs before a friend of hers pushed them away.

After she had left the club with her friend, she said she later saw the two men outside Bowmans staring and beckoning to them, offering them cocaine and alcohol if they came to theirs to ‘party’.

Daniel Taylor, defending Gheorghe, pressed the woman over discrepancies in her evidence compared to the witness statement she had prepared a week after the incident.

He asked why there was no mention of the groping in her original statement and why she did not raise it with bouncers or bar staff.

He suggested the women had exaggerated their story after hearing later on what the men had been accused of.

The trial continues.

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