Woman is 'haunted daily by rape ordeal'

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The Independent Online

A woman told the Old Bailey yesterday she had been haunted for 16 years by a rape at her home in Buckinghamshire.

A woman told the Old Bailey yesterday she had been haunted for 16 years by a rape at her home in Buckinghamshire.

The woman, known only as Miss N for legal reasons, said she was attacked by Nicholas Edwards when she was a 19-year-old model and dancer.

She told the court in London that she had become pregnant in April 1984, after Mr Edwards turned up at her home in the middle of a night and demanded sex. Asked by Richard Benson QC, for the defence, if she could remember the details, Miss N said: "I have lived with it every day since 1984."

The woman, 35, cried as she denied agreeing to sleep with Mr Edwards, who had given her a lift a few days earlier. "How dare you say I fancied him. Mr Edwards had just raped me," she said. Miss N said Mr Edwards, then 23, had pulled off her nightclothes. "I thought he was going to kill me. He told me in a previous conversation that he had a gun. He climbed on top of me and told me I was his." Miss N said she had a termination of the pregnancy a month later.

Mr Edwards, 39, an engineering welder, of Sydenham, south London, has been accused of raping a 23-year-oldwoman with children, Miss D, at his flat two years ago

Miss N and four other women are giving evidence in court, in an unusual legal move that has been allowed because the prosecution alleges their experiences with Mr Edwards bear "striking similarities".

The women say Mr Edwards raped them, but he says they were willing sexual partners on dates. Counsel for the prosecution said the "exceptional circumstances" meant the jury would not have to only take one woman's word against that of the defendant.

Mr Edwards was cleared of rape following his encounter with Miss N in 1984. "But just because he was found not guilty, it does not mean he didn't do it," she said yesterday. The trial continues.

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