Student who denies rape had played role of an accused sex attacker in training session, court told

Durham Crown Court
Durham Crown Court

A student nightline advisor who denies raping a drunken woman had previously played the part of an accused sex attacker in training for his role, a court has heard.

Alistair Cooke, 22, who studied geography at Durham University, is accused of following the woman home from a party before allegedly raping her.

The third year student, from Perranarworthal, Truro, Cornwall, denies three counts of rape on the same woman following a house party.

The woman told the court she remembered he had his hands on her chest and that "he was laughing at me".

She added: "I tried to sit up but he pushed me down like a ragdoll.

"The only times I was conscious was when he was moving and hurting me. I was more drunk than I had ever been in my life."

Durham Crown Court has heard that Cooke was a volunteer with the Nightline student advice service and during his training he role-played being accused of raping a drunken woman after following her home.

Words he used during the training session were similar to his real-life response to being accused of raping the woman after the party, the jury was told.

Sobbing from behind a screen in the witness stand, the woman said: "I blamed myself so much, maybe if I had not drunk so much I could have stopped it."

But during cross examination, defence barrister Cathy McCulloch alleged the woman had given consent.

"You did participate in sex willingly and now you are just regretting it and this is a story of regret not rape," she said.

She asked her why she did not go straight to the police and accused her of waiting six days so they would not have been able to test how much alcohol she had in her system.

The trial continues.