Policeman accused of sexual assault says alleged victim had kissed him
A police officer has told a court he had "no sexual intention" towards a woman he said had kissed him before accusing him of assaulting her in south Belfast.
Birmingham father of two Martin Asantaempaduh, an officer with West Midlands police, told Belfast Crown Court: "I didn't touch her."
The woman claimed that after she was ejected by door staff from the Eglantine Inn in the early hours of August 5, 2012, she came into contact with Asantaempaduh as she crossed the Malone Road.
She claimed Asantaempaduh said he was an undercover police officer, showed her his badge and asked if he could walk with her.
The north Belfast woman said she then walked down Windsor Park with him, before he pushed her into bushes and straddled her as she lay on he ground. Giving evidence earlier this week, she also said she thought she was going to be raped, before fleeing to a filling station.
Asantaempaduh, whose address was given c/o West Midlands police, is accused of sexually assaulting the woman, and assaulting her occasioning actual bodily harm. He denies both charges.
Yesterday, Asantaempaduh told the jury of seven woman and five men his only concern was to get her a taxi home, and she had kissed him in gratitude for getting one.
The 50-year-old said that August 2012 was his first time in Belfast. After tending to a family matter, Asantaempaduh booked into Queen's Elms for a night and had planned to fly back to Birmingham the following morning.
After booking in, he went for a drink and had two pints of Guinness and two bottles of Budweiser in the Botanic Inn, before leaving the pub to walk the short distance back to the Elms.
He told the jury that as he was walking along the Malone Road, he was approached by the woman. Asantaempaduh said: "She handed me her phone. She said she was having an argument with her friends and she wanted me to read her texts."
He said she asked about his accent, and when he opened his wallet with a view to giving her money for a taxi, she saw his police identification.
He said after seeing the lights of a taxi down a street, he walked towards it. The street in question was Windsor Park, where the woman alleges she was pushed into bushes and attacked.
Denying these allegations, the accused said: "She embraced me, gave me a kiss and walked off towards the taxi."
Saying he thought the kiss was a 'thank you', he said he then walked towards a white van as he needed to urinate. He told the court: "I went to urinate and stood on the pavement's edge, near to bushes.
"The next thing that happened was that I was grabbed and without even looking, I just pushed away. I thought I was being attacked, so I just pushed out."
He then realised it was the woman he had pushed, and she was lying unconscious on the ground. Asantaempaduh said: "I was horrified when I saw her on the floor and she wasn't moving. She was on her back.
"I knelt down and shook her shoulders to try and wake her. She didn't wake at first but then she came to and just went absolutely ballistic. She said I tried to touch her. She was screaming at me and saying all kinds of things. I just wanted to make sure she was okay, but she was having none of it. She looked like she was going to take my head off, so I walked away from her."
Asantaempaduh was arrested a short time later. When he was asked by his barrister why he didn't give that version of events to police straight away, he replied: "I have never been in a situation like this in my life."
When asked by his barrister if he straddled the woman as she lay on the ground, he said "that is not correct".
He also denied tampering with her clothes, as well as sexually assaulting her. He said: "I had no sexual intention towards this woman from the moment I met her. My only concern was to help her get home."