Man accused of rape 'tried to cut victim's throat'

A man raped a woman who helped him find his way home then tried to murder her by cutting her throat, a court heard today,

The victim, then 21, had been out with friends for the night in Aldershot, Hampshire, when she saw Paul Brown, who she had never met before, looking lost, Winchester Crown Court heard.

She kindly helped him find a kebab shop near where he was staying and then they parted company and she continued on her way home.

But Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, told the jury that Brown then ran after the woman, held the knife to her throat and dragged her into a children's play park.

He then told her to take her trousers and knickers down and raped her before her throat was cut, leaving a wound 8cm long and another smaller but deeper wound about 2cm across.

The woman offered Brown money and shielded her throat from the knife causing hand injuries before he finally ran off, the jury heard.

She then ran home screaming, holding the wound together, as she felt blood in her throat and her family took her to hospital.

Care home worker Brown, 22 from Victoria Street, Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland, has admitted rape, attempted rape and assault by penetration but denies attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding with intent on 28 December last year.

When arrested the same day he admitted he had attacked her and he used the knife and cut her throat but told police the two wounds were an accident as he had slipped twice on the wet grass and stabbed the woman, he thought, in the shoulder.

The jury heard he said he also thought he might have killed her. "I didn't mean to hurt her. I just wanted to get away," he told police.

He said he was angry that night and looking for a fight and he had "snapped".

Brown was in England staying with his mother and her partner trying to find work over Christmas when the attack took place.

Ms Maylin told the court that he had become upset and angry on the evening of 27 December because his mother and step-father were arguing and his grandmother was ill.

He decided to walk into Aldershot to meet friends just as the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was leaving to walk home just after midnight on 28 December.

She had drunk two pints of lager, three bottles of WKD and a small amount of snakebite but was not "falling down", the jury was told.

"She decided to walk those two miles to her home, she may now have wished she had got into a taxi," Ms Maylin said.

After parting near the kebab shop, the woman thought that was the end of the matter.

But Ms Maylin told the jury: "She felt she was grabbed from behind. That person, members of the jury, was Paul Brown. He put one hand over her mouth and held a knife to her neck.

"She asked what he wanted. He made no reply. He frog marched her to a children's play area."

The woman tried to grab hold of a tree to stop herself going into more darkness but Brown pulled her in and then attacked her. She was then wounded with the knife, the court heard.

"She said it felt like it was forever but it must have been less than a minute," Ms Maylin said.

"He went across with the knife and cut her throat."

Ms Maylin said an expert judged that the wounds were no accident and that it was more luck than judgment that they were not life threatening.

The trial is expected to last four days.

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