He seemed a Godly man, rape trial is told

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The Independent Online

A young mother wept repeatedly yesterday as she gave a harrowing account of the night she said she was raped by a man who had already been accused of five similar attacks on other women.

A young mother wept repeatedly yesterday as she gave a harrowing account of the night she said she was raped by a man who had already been accused of five similar attacks on other women.

The 25-year-old fought to regain her composure as she told an Old Bailey jury how Nicholas Edwards, a man she had initially thought was "charming" and "Godly" had suddenly turned violent during a night out.

Mr Edwards, 39, of Sydenham, south London, denies the one charge of rape, insisting the woman known as Miss D had consented to sex. But the jury were told the "exceptional circumstances" of the case meant they would hear from five more women who claimed the welder had raped them in a "strikingly similar" way.

This, said David Perry, for the prosecution, was no longer a case of Miss D's word against the defendant but that of six women who had no connection with each other.

Mr Edwards, the barrister said, repeatedly selected his victims, befriending them with flattery before eventually subjecting them to an horrendous sexual attack.

Miss D, who had a five-month-old boy at the time in 1998, was in tears as she told the court Mr Edwards had suddenly become a different character after she had rebuffed his sexual advances. She said he had said angrily: "All you bitches are the same."

Three days before, she said he approached her outside her south London flat. After he repeatedly visited, she agreed to go out with him but refused all his advances. "I saw him as a pleasant person and a Godly person. We spoke about the church," she said. Miss D, now eight months pregnant with her second child, said Mr Edwards tricked her into his flat and raped her twice.

The trial continues.