Police detective denies rape in Stratford hotel room - The Stratford Observer

Police detective denies rape in Stratford hotel room

Stratford Editorial 19th Mar, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016   0

A POLICE detective has told a jury he had sex with a woman in a Stratford hotel room in a ‘one-night stand’ after meeting her in a pub while he was attending a conference.

And DC Nicholas Doherty insisted the sexual activity was consensual, and that at no stage did the woman indicate she was not happy with what was going on between them.

The 42 year-old, of Walney, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of raping the woman and one of attempting to rape her, and also sexually assaulting her, during the incident in February 2012.

Prosecutor Simon Phillips told the jury Doherty’s job as a detective constable with Cumbria Constabulary involved recovering the proceeds of crime from criminals, and in February 2012 he attended a conference on that topic in Stratford.

Following a dinner after one day at the conference, Doherty and some colleagues went to a pub in Stratford town centre where he met the woman, who he did not know, and they chatted, which Doherty described as ‘a very flirtatious conversation’.

Both drank alcohol, and Doherty was sick outside the pub, although was not established if it was drink-related.

The woman, who was in her 30s, said she had around seven glasses of wine and a gin and tonic but was not ‘out of control’.

After leaving the pub at about 11.30pm they went back to the hotel where Doherty was staying for a night-cap – but opted for a tea and a coffee.

A CCTV camera in the hotel foyer showed them getting into a lift to the first floor, and they went into a room where the woman went to the bathroom while Doherty made the drinks.

When she came out of the bathroom she sat on the end of the bed at one side, while Doherty sat on the other side as they had their hot drinks.

The jury heard her next memory was of being naked on the bed in the dark with Doherty on top of her.

“Had she fallen asleep and the defendant taken advantage of her, or has she simply forgotten and blocked out what had led up to it?” posed Mr Phillips.

Throughout, it was said the woman was saying no, but it was alleged she was being restrained by Doherty before he eventually let her go – and she quickly put on her dress and left the room.

The jury heard the following day the woman told her housemate some of what had happened – but did not make a formal complaint until a few days later.

She was seen by a female officer and her interview, which was video-recorded, was played to the jury.

But Mr Phillips said: “Unfortunately she did not know the true identity of the man. She thought it was somebody called Mike or Mick.

“In fact it turned out to be this defendant, but it took police officers 18 months to track him down from the list of attendees at the conference.”

When he was questioned Doherty said his memory of events was poor because of the passage of time, but he remembered having consensual sex with a woman.

He said if the woman had said no at any stage, he would have stopped, adding when they had finished having sex he just left the room, possibly while she was in the bathroom.

Doherty accepted holding her wrists during sex and that he may have caused the bruising from which she suffered, but denied having sex with her when she was asleep.

Saleema Mahmood, defending, put to the woman: “You knew that you and the man you knew as Mike had gone to that bedroom anticipating you were going to be intimate.” She replied: “No.”

The woman, who said she did not recall Doherty telling her he was a police officer and denied their conversation in the pub had been flirtatious, and said she had not consented to the sexual activity.

Doherty told Miss Mahmood the woman had been consenting.

Miss Mahmood asked him whether he thought it was a one-off event or the beginning of something more, to which he replied he classed it as a ‘one-night stand’.

The trial continues.

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