'I thought he was going to kill me': Sunderland mum tells jury how she was raped and strangled by 'charming stranger' she met in nightclub

Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman met Darren Read in Sunderland's Arizona nightspot.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman met Darren Read in Sunderland's Arizona nightspot.

A mum who claims she was raped by a "charming" stranger who tried to kill her when she went home with him from a nightclub has jurors "I tried to fight back".

The woman, who cannot be named, said Darran Read tried to smother and strangle her with a mobile phone charger, carrier bag, pillow and hands during a night of terrifying violence which ended with her being beaten unconscious with a saucepan.

She suffered wounds to her head, a fractured hand, a possible fracture to her arm as well as bruising and swelling after being "terrorised" for hours by the 37-year-old stranger, who she initially thought was "charming and pleasant" when she met him in the Arizona club in Sunderland last August, a court has heard.

Read, of Roseville Street, Sunderland, denies attempted murder, wounding with intent, two offences of rape and one of false imprisonment and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

The mum, who is in her 40s, has told jurors Read seemed like a "normal person" when she met him in the club and added: "He didn't seem as if he could be the type of person to do anything of the sort."

She said Read changed within ten minutes of her going back with him to his home and added: "I just remember how angry he was through the whole of the time of me being in his property".

She told jurors: "He was angry from the start of going into his property. From the first ten minutes he started to get angry and saying what he was going to do to me."

The woman, who repeatedly became upset while giving her evidence, via the television link, said she had some of the drinks offered to her by Read during her time at his home.

She added: "I was frightened of what he might do.

"I tried to keep him calm.

"I was frightened.

"I just tried to go along with him, with drinking and things.

"I was frightened and distressed."

The woman denied the suggestion from Read's barrister Nicholas de la Poer that she was free to leave the flat when she wanted and added: "If I thought for one minute I was free to leave the property I would have done."

She told the court: "I didn't consent to any of it".

The woman told jurors she "couldn't breathe" when Read had the phone charger around her neck and said he also put a blue plastic bag over her head but she struggled to remember precise details.

She added: "I recall him saying 'why don't you just die b****'.

"He got angry at the fact, when he was saying why couldn't I just die, and I was still alive."

The woman told jurors: "I tried to fight, I tried to fight, my hardest, back."

She added: "I was just terrified for my life.

"All I recall is going through an horrific time."

The court heard Read claims he had consensual sex with the woman and that the saucepan attack was in self defence, after she picked up a knife during an argument.

But the woman said she was hit with the saucepan after she tried to get out.

She added: "It was because I tried to escape. He got angry and said 'nice try'.

"I didn't have a knife, all I was trying to do was escape, to get out, because I was frightened.

"I thought he was going to kill me. I was frightened."

The woman denied she had grabbed Read's genitals during a violent struggle after she picked up a knife and added: "I was struggling for my life".

The woman said she put a letter in her bag so the authorities could trace what address she had been to and added: "I recall putting the letter in my bag so that if I was found they could trace the address back because I thought I wasn't going to live.

"I didn't think he was going to let me survive."

The trial continues.