Woman lied over rape case

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The Independent Online
The 23-year-old student who claims she was raped by six Army officers admitted yesterday that she had lied to the police about a sexual incident which had happened 10 days before the alleged gang attack.

Although she had sex with two men in the same room, she only mentioned the cadet Nicholas Oettinger, one of the defendants, to police last November. It was not until she learnt that the defendants and a friend had given more details that she admitted that she had had sex with a second man an hour later, while Mr Oettinger was still in the room.

Yesterday, at Oxford Crown Court, Stuart Montrose, QC, for the defence, asked the woman: "It is quite clear that you didn't tell the truth about Rupert [the second man] in that statement, did you?" She replied: "No ... because I thought that if ...[the police] thought that I'd had sex with two men, then they wouldn't believe me about the six."

The woman, who was working as a bartender near the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham, Oxfordshire, claims she was raped by two captains, two lieutenants and two cadets on 27 May last year.

Mr Oettinger, 20, of Preston, Lancashire, Andy Stout, 20, of Whickham, Tyne and Wear, Matthew Tupling, 23, of Bordon, Hampshire, Darren Bartlett, 23, of Aborfield, Berkshire, Philip Bates, 25, of Bordon, and Ian Barlow, 28, of Wattisham Army Base, in Suffolk, all deny rape.

Earlier yesterday, the woman had wept as she re-lived the alleged hour- long sexual ordeal. The jury was shown a florist's note which had accompanied a bunch of flowers sent to the woman by the six two days after the alleged incident. It read: "Sorry for any misunderstanding. Please accept apologies from all involved."

The trial continues.