Durham student who claimed she was raped branded ‘manipulative, dishonest, dangerous’

Louis Richardson denies rape and sexual assault.
Louis Richardson denies rape and sexual assault.
0
Have your say

A student who accused a former secretary of Durham University’s prestigious Union Society of rape was described by his defence as a “highly manipulative, dishonest, dangerous young woman”.

Louis Richardson, 21, from Jersey, denies raping and sexually assaulting the complainant, and sexually assaulting another woman at a house party by groping her in 2014.

Durham Crown Court has heard the rape complainant and Richardson swapped flirtatious Facebook messages after the alleged rape, which happened when she was “crazy drunk” and unresponsive, according to the prosecution.

In her closing speech, Philippa McAtasney QC, defending, said her client got mixed messages from the student over a period of time.

She told the jury: “She is a highly manipulative, dishonest, dangerous young woman.”

She added: “When you consider all the evidence in relation to (the first complainant), you will see how unreliable, unsafe, unfair and dishonest her word is.”

Richardson also was accused of exposing the woman’s bra at a party and saying “get your **** out... everyone else has seen them”.

But Miss McAtasney said her client would not use that phrase, saying: “You may think he has a somewhat unique style for a young man of his age, a flowery style, verbose, quite posh you may think. He is not on trial for that.”

The defence barrister reminded the jury the complainant was still calling him “darling” in Facebook messages after the alleged rape and sexual assault occurred.

Richardson is accused of sexually assaulting another student at a different party while she was in bed feeling unwell.

Miss McAtasney said he would have to be Mr Tickle to be able to grope her over her bra and knickers while looking out onto the room, with his back to the woman, and continuing to debate politics with the group of men in the room.