Woman speaks out about school disco rape claims after 30 years

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A WOMAN has come face to face with a convicted rapist she claims attacked her 30 years ago.

The alleged victim, who cannot be named, said Stephen Crawford raped her in his car after offering her a lift as she walked home from a school disco.

She told jurors at Newcastle Crown Court it has taken her three decades to pluck up the courage to report her ordeal to the police.

Crawford, 49, denies raping the woman and claims he has been mistakenly identified as the attacker.

The woman dismissed claims she has pointed the finger at Crawford because he is an “easy target” due to the fact he is already a convicted rapist who has been in prison.

The court heard the alleged victim claims she was raped when she accepted a lift from Crawford, a local DJ who she said she knew, after leaving a school disco early because she felt unwell.

She said instead of taking her home, Crawford drove her to a Wearside industrial estate, pinned her to the passenger seat and raped her.

But the court heard the woman kept quiet about her ordeal because she was “terrified of him” and feared he would “come and get her” if she told, while worrying nobody would believe her.

It was only last year she found the courage to report what happened to the police.

She told officers during her video recorded interview, which was played as her evidence in court yesterday: “Its affecting everything now and I needed to do it.

“I have waited a lot of years to do it, but it has taken me all this time to pluck up the courage just to even walk into this station.

“I’ve never, ever in my life hated anyone as much as I hate that bloke.

“It has got to the stage where I’ve had nightmares about it, I can’t stop thinking about it.

“For someone to have such an impact on somebody else’s life like this, even after this many years, its wrong.”

During cross examination the victim gave evidence from the witness box, across the courtroom from where Crawford sat.

The woman said she did not know Crawford had been to prison or had been convicted of sex offences or offences against women.

Crawford’s barrister Andrew Walker told her: “You named him because that makes him an easy target.”

But the woman said: “No, I named him because he is the man that did it.”

The trial continues.