Woman 'raped three times at knifepoint'

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A 27-year-old woman suffered a terrifying 90-minute ordeal in which she was raped three times at knifepoint by a man who broke into her home, a court was told yesterday.

Glenn Grant, also 27, burst through security chains on the woman's door and threatened to kill her if she did not do as he ordered, the Old Bailey in London was told.

He punched and beat the woman, a retail buyer, before raping her and dragging her through the house, looking for valuables he could steal.

The woman shook and tugged at her necklace as she recounted how Mr Grant allegedly switched from extreme violence to tenderness.

She told how she persuaded him to use a condom as protection against pregnancy and Aids. But he refused a third time after her struggles made it difficult for him to perform.

Mr Grant, from south London, denies raping and indecently assaulting the woman in her home in Brixton, south London, last April.

The woman told the jury of five men and seven women how she saw a man apparently jogging as she arrived home at around 6pm. He stared at her as she went inside, she alleged.

About half an hour later, there was a knock on the door and she put the security chain on before opening it.

The man outside ordered her to let him in but she tried to close the door. He broke the security chain and slammed her against the wall. The woman said she fought hard but eventually decided she would have to persuade him to trust her if she was to escape.

The woman said: "He had his hands on my mouth and he kept telling me to shut up."

As she continued to struggle, he seized a kitchen knife and threatened to kill her.

He forced her to undress and perform oral sex and speak obscenities during the attack in which he raped her three times. "I was begging him not to do it to me," she said. "He said if I didn't do what he wanted, he would kill me. He didn't seem stable. He was just from one extreme to another."

She eventually escaped by throwing a sheet over him and running for the door. He was arrested later that night after he went to Brixton police station with his mother.

Mark Dennis, for the prosecution, praised the alleged victim's courage and said her ordeal had been made much worse by Mr Grant's "obvious mental instability".

While Grant was with her, "she was in constant fear that he would finish off the attack by killing her", Mr Dennis said.

Semen and blood samples taken from the flat matched Mr Grant's and he was recognised at an identity parade.

However, he told police he believed he had been "set up" by a friend and the woman.

The case continues.