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Man denies raping sex worker in Rosary Road area of Norwich

Published in The Norwich Evening News
4th April 2017


Norfolk
A man accused of raping a sex worker in the Rosary Road area of Norwich has denied the charge, claiming sex was consensual. Twenty-four-year-old Ian Barnes is standing trial at Norwich Crown Court charged with one count of rape, alleged to have occurred in the early hours of June 4, 2015.

Ian James, opening the case for the prosecution, told the jury the alleged victim had dialled 999 shortly after 12.30am. “In her call she told the police she had just been raped,” he said. While the victim declined to make a complaint at first, officers were able to identify Barnes as the subject of the allegations and brought him in for questioning.

By the end of July, the victim was ready to co-operate with police. Mr James said in her interview she said she had “needed a £60 punter that night”.

“Shortly after that a man appeared out of nowhere and asked her to perform sexual acts for money and she agreed,” he said. “She says once they got round to the back of some flats the man had reached into his pocket and seemed to put something into her bag, which she thought was likely the payment. She looked in her bag and found no money but bits of torn up paper.”

Mr James said the victim had started to feel “very frightened” before the man began dragging her down an alleyway and forcing himself on her.

While Barnes, whose last address was given as Herring House Trust, Great Yarmouth, admitted in police interview he had sex with the complainant, Mr James said: “His case is this woman is telling lies about him. He said he had been out in town that particular evening and had felt the urge as the night drew on to get some crack cocaine. He decided to go up to the Rosary Road area because he knew there would be prostitutes there and he believed they would have the wherewithal to get crack cocaine.

“He said they had gone to the back of the flats, smoked and then ended up having sex. The issue he raised fairly and squarely was one of consent.”

Mr James told the court CCTV pictures captured from outside nearby Swinton Insurance shows the victim coming out of the flats and running in front of a car, jumping in and driving off, with Barnes close behind her.

The trial, expected to last three days, continues.