Serial sex attacker denies school disco rape

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A SERIAL sex attacker has denied he was responsible for raping a schoolgirl 30 years ago.

Stephen Crawford is accused of attacking the victim at an industrial estate after offering her a lift home from a disco when she was 13.

The 49-year-old, who has carried out attacks on seven different females in the past, denies rape and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Crawford, who has convictions for rape, unlawful sexual intercourse, indecent assault and false imprisonment, told jurors yesterday his accuser is a “total stranger” to him and denied having any sexual contact with her.

The alleged victim gave evidence in court yesterday, as did another member of her family.

Crawford, who was a mobile disc jockey from Washington when the alleged attack happened, told jurors: “They were total strangers to me yesterday, both people who stood in this dock. I have never seen them before in my life.”

When asked if the victim’s name, which cannot be published, meant anything to him, Crawford replied: “It didn’t then, it doesn’t now. It means nothing, no idea.”

He added: “I know nothing about the allegation. It was nothing to do with me. I know nothing about it.”

The court heard Crawford’s sexual offending dates back to 1985 when he was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16.

In 1994 he was convicted of indecent assault on an adult woman and having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in his car.

In 1999 he was convicted of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl in the cab of a car transporter.

In 2007 he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old after offering her a lift home, keeping a 17-year-old detained in his car during a five-hour ordeal in which she was sexually assaulted.

He also raped a 17-year-old who got into his car when he pretended to be a taxi driver.

Despite the seriousness of Crawford’s criminal past, Judge John Milford told jurors they will be given directions on how to handle the information before they consider the verdict.

The judge said: “What you are not, on any account, to do, is just to say to yourself ‘oh well he’s got previous convictions, he must have done it and we will find him guilty’.”

Twitter: @Sunderlandecho

The trial continues