Man raped and tried to murder Sunderland mum he met in city nightclub, jury told

A rapist who tried to murder a woman he had met in a nightclub told her during the attack "you just won't die", jurors have heard.

By Karon Kelly
Monday, 13 May, 2019, 15:53
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Darran Read met his victim in Arizona nightspot.

Darran Read tried to smother and strangle his victim with a mobile phone charger, a carrier bag, a pillow and even his bare hands during the terrifying violence, it is claimed.

The 37-year-old then repeatedly hit the woman, who is a mum in her 40s, across the head with a saucepan until she thought she was going to die without seeing her children again.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim was so convinced she would be murdered that she picked up a letter from Read's flat and put it in her handbag so that police would realise where she had been, once they found her body and possessions.

She suffered wounds to her head, a fractured hand, a possible fracture to her arm as well as bruising and swelling.

Prosecutors say the woman was "terrorised" for a "number of hours".

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.

Prosecutor Anne Richardson told jurors Read had met his victim in Arizona nightclub in Sunderland last August and she thought he was an "alright kind of person" as he seemed "charming and pleasant" so went back to his home for a drink.

Miss Richardson told the court: "At first everything was friendly and fine.

However, after a short time, the defendant's mood changed and he became nasty.

"He began to tell her what he was going to do to her, namely to rape her, and, at first, she thought it was a joke."

The court heard Read raped the woman, who he had ordered to strip, in a bedroom and then tied her up with clothing while he went to a shop for alcohol and she was too scared to even attempt to escape.

Read raped her again when he got back to the property.

Miss Richardson added: "He pushed her down on the side of the bed and started to strangle her with a mobile phone charge wire and then his bare hands.

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"He put a pillow over her head, then placed a carried bag over her head, making it tight around her neck.

"Such was the concerted effort of the defendant that having used the wire, his hands and the bag, the defendant said to her "you won't die b****, you just won't die" as he was continually trying to suffocate her to death, telling her that he intended to kill her.

"At some point, she lost consciousness but not before she had managed to bite a hole in the plastic bag to allow her to breathe."

The court heard when the woman regained consciousness she ran into the kitchen and tried to get out of the back door.

But Miss Richardson added: "When the defendant realised what she was doing, he began to hit her repeatedly about the head with a saucepan.

"She was cowering on the floor, thinking that she was going to die and not see her children again, before she once more lost consciousness."

The court heard when the woman woke up again, Read was mopping up her blood and saying he wanted to stab her but said "poor cow".

He then had a "personality volte face" and got a pillow and something to cover her while saying she needed to tell the police what he had done so he could get help, as "no-one would help him".

Miss Richardson added: "The Crown submits that the defendant intended to kill the complainant that night, suing a variety of methods and over a prolonged period of time.

"She certainly thought she was going to die, and given she had no idea where she was, she had the considerable presence of mind to grab a letter she noticed in the living room and put it in her handbag, thinking that if she died, the defendant would dispose of her body and her belongings and the letter would be found and lead the authorities back to the defendant's address."

Read claims he had consensual sex with the woman once that night and that the violence afterwards was in lawful self defence after she picked up a knife during a row that broke out between them.

The trial continues.