Jury out to consider verdicts as newspaper founder Eddy Shah faces trial over schoolgirl rape allegation


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The Independent Online

A jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the Old Bailey trial of a former newspaper proprietor accused of raping a schoolgirl.

Eddy Shah, 69, of Chippenham, Wiltshire, denies raping a girl under 16 on several occasions in upmarket London hotels during the early 1990s.

He and former escort Susan Davies, 53, of Swanley, Kent, are accused of forcing the woman, now in her early 30s, to have threesomes with them.

Shah claims that he met the girl twice in hotels while she was accompanied by Davies but never had sex with her.

Davies denies aiding and abetting rape, indecent assault and cruelty to a person under 16.

The jury of eight men and four women was sent out to consider its verdicts by judge Brian Barker QC.

Shah, whose birth name is Selim Shah, founded the now-defunct Today newspaper in 1986.

After clashes with unions, he was the first person to invoke Margaret Thatcher's anti-union laws.

He later went on to become the author of several novels.

A third defendant, businessman Anthony Pallant, 53, of West Malling, Kent, is also accused of raping the girl during the same period with the assistance of Davies. He denies rape and indecent assault.