Solicitor 'tried to rape woman after ball'

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A SOLICITOR tried to rape a fellow lawyer after they drank champagne and whisky at a St Andrew's Day ball, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

Andrew Campbell, for the prosecution, said Angus Diggle, 37, asked a 25-year-old Scottish solicitor to partner him for dinner and Scottish dancing at the Grosvenor House Hotel ball in London after meeting her at a legal conference.

After spending eight hours at the ball, she told him he could change and have coffee at a flat where she was staying with friends. But after she went to bed and fell asleep in the living room, Mr Diggle allegedly got in with her, wearing only his Highland dress cuffs, Mr Campbell said.

The solicitor - Miss X - told the court that she felt herself being touched and kissed, then Mr Diggle, of Bolton, Greater Manchester, attempted to rape her. He denies the charge. 'I was shouting, trying to push him away and trying to kick him, but his full weight was on top of me,' she said.

Miss X said at the ball they had started drinking champagne, shared half a bottle of whisky with another couple at their table, then 'continued to drink either wine or champagne for most of the evening'. She said her feelings had changed towards him during the ball. 'I realised we may be friends, but it was not going to develop into anything more than that.'

Miss X said she was quite drunk by the time she left. But Mr Campbell said: 'It must have been startlingly obvious to Diggle she was not consenting . . . Her screams and her kicking must have made it quite plain she was not consenting.'

The case continues.