Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Man denies going willingly to bed

Former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans outside Preston Crown Court

An alleged rape victim has denied he suggested going to bed with former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans and that they had consensual sex.

The man, aged in his early 20s, claims he woke up to find the 56-year-old MP on top of him, and he was then raped as he laid "in shock".

The incident is said to have taken place after the complainant attended a dinner party last year at Evans's home in his Ribble Valley constituency in Lancashire where he had agreed to stay overnight in a spare room.

Preston Crown Court heard the man say he had not invited or wanted any sexual contact but he said he got under the covers with Evans after he was "escorted" to his bedroom.

Today Peter Wright QC, defending, suggested to the complainant that he willingly went to Evans's bedroom following a period of "intimacy" downstairs where they had been kissing.

The complainant replied: "That is pure fiction."

Yesterday the complainant, who is giving evidence from behind a screen, admitted it was "a bad decision" to get into bed with Evans and it was "stupid" in hindsight.

Mr Wright asked him what he now thought about the incident.

The complainant replied: "I rationalised it that I have known this man for 18 months, we have only had one slight incident that was inappropriate. We were also friends and I had shared beds with friends and it never meant anything sexual."

The barrister said: "But those friends were not a middle-aged man who was openly gay?"

"No," replied the complainant

The witness recalled being "between tipsy and drunk" when he and Evans were later alone following the dinner party in Pendleton.

He described how Evans sat close to him on the sofa and put his arm around him as he topped their drinks up, the court heard.

He denied that at that stage he had received "the warning signs that this might be spiralling out of control" and said he did not say anything because he wanted to avoid an "awkward situation".

"You could have stopped it there and then, couldn't you?" asked Mr Wright.

The complainant said: "Other people could maybe. I couldn't."

Mr Wright said: "What I am going to suggest is that something else happened there before the bed situation. There had been some kissing that took place."

The complainant said: "No, not at all."

The barrister continued: "And that intimacy led to you both going upstairs to the bedroom."

The complainant said: "That is pure fiction."

Mr Wright said: "That is how you ended up in his bedroom. It was entirely your own choice, I suggest."

"No," the complainant replied.

Mr Wright said: "You did not say 'this is not my bedroom'."

The complainant said: "I wish I had."

The barrister said: "I suggest that in fact the reason you got into the bedroom was you said to him as you were going up the stairs 'shall I follow you?'.

"No," the complainant said.

Mr Wright said: "After crossing the threshold with nothing said between you and the lights off, you must then have realised that there was indeed a situation that may indeed lead to some form of sexual intimacy.

"I am going to suggest there was intimacy downstairs and you went upstairs to carry on."

The complainant said: "That's not true."

The complainant is one of seven young men that Evans is alleged to have sexually assaulted on various dates between 2002 and last year. Evans denies one rape, two indecent assaults and six sexual assaults.

The complainant told Mr Wright it was "a missed opportunity" that he had not chosen to go to the attic bedroom where he had arranged to stay.

He has described to the jury how the MP went on to touch and grab him on numerous occasions while in bed and that he repeatedly told him he was tired and that he rolled away from him on the bed.

This led to him going to the bathroom on three occasions but each time he returned to Evans's bed, the court heard.

Both eventually fell asleep, he said, but then he awoke later to find Evans astride his back.

Mr Wright put it to him that the reality was "quite the opposite" and that consensual intercourse took place in two different positions.

The complainant said: "No, no."

Mr Wright said that Evans had also not attempted to force him to perform oral sex on the MP afterwards.

The complainant said: "I remember that very clearly."

The court has also heard about an incident involving the complainant, who worked at Westminster at the time, and Evans at an office Christmas party in London in 2012.

He said the defendant put his arm around him, kissed his cheek, ruffled his hair and put his hand around the back of his jacket for around 20 to 25 minutes.

The jury has seen a photograph from the party in which the complainant is seen smiling with his arms around the MP.

Mr Wright asked the complainant why he did not ask Evans to remove his hand.

The complainant said: "I think that would have made a bit of a scene. He was still the Deputy Speaker. He was still a person of importance."

The barrister said: "Why didn't you say 'Mr Deputy Speaker, would you just not touch me'.

"I put it to that you were interacting, that you were smiling a lot to him and looking in each other's eyes and you gave every indication you were perfectly comfortable with what was taking place."

The complainant said: "No. I don't know where you get the eyes business from. That is ridiculous."

Mr Wright continued: "I am going to suggest to you that you were being openly flirtatious towards him at this party."

The complainant replied: "I have never been like that towards Nigel, never."

The trial continues tomorrow.[

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