Roker Avenue rape trial: Man accused of raping woman at asylum seekers' accommodation in Sunderland tells jury how alleged victim climbed on him

Police on patrol in Roker Avenue
Police on patrol in Roker Avenue

A man accused of raping a woman at asylum seekers' accommodation told a jury how she climbed on top of him and he didn't want to push her off as he was worried she would get "injured", "cry" or "make stories for the police".

Saheed Rasoolli, 30, and Araz Abdulla, 23, are on trial accused of each taking a turn to have sex with the alleged victim, against her will, in the bedroom of a flat at Roker Avenue in Sunderland.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman, who said she "couldn't get her breath" during the attacks, was left with nail marks to her neck, throat and arms.

Both men deny rape and are being tried by a jury.

During his defence, Rasoolli told the court how the woman kissed him on the mouth and touched his bottom as they walked to the property - but he didn't want her to do it.

When asked by prosecutor Paul Abrahams if he wanted her to do it, he replied: "To be honest no, but it was normal for me."

When asked questioned about what he meant, Rasoolli said: "For us it is not normal back home but this is normal. Women touch men, that's normal.

"This woman, she came to me, she started touching me. I'm not going to argue, push her away or say something nasty to her."

Rasoolli told the court how when he got to the flat he lay on Abdulla's bed with his hands behind his head as he was tired but the woman got on top of him.

When asked why he didn't tell her to get off, he replied: "I told her, she didn't."

When Mr Abrahams asked if he wanted her to touch her sexually, Rasoolli said: "No, to be honest, I didn't like it. I didn't want it. I didn't want to do it."

Mr Abrahams asked why he did not get her off him, to which Rasoolli replied: "I didn't want to remove her or push her away from me.

"I was worried about her, if she got injured.

"If you move her or do something she would cry and make stories for the police."

When asked by Mr Abrahams if he could push a Kurdish lady but not an English lady, Rasoolli replied: "Yes, because English women, as soon as you touch her she will get you in trouble."

Rasooli said the sexual intercourse came to an end when he received a call on his mobile.

Abdulla, of Roker Avenue, Sunderland, and Rasoolli, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, both deny an offence of rape.

The court heard Rasoolli was arrested in Middlesbrough on June 10.

He told police in his first interview the woman had "come on to him" and he had "begged her to go away".

During a second interview he said the alleged victim had "made it up".

The trial continues.