Rape accused tells Carlisle court sex was consensual

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A man accused of raping a woman has denied any wrongdoing and told a jury they had consensual sex.

Neil Bell, 51, went into the witness box at Carlisle Crown Court, where he is on trial having pleaded not guilty to an allegation that he raped the woman on October 17, 2015.

He said he twice asked the woman whether she wanted to “make love”. Both times she answered “yes”, although Bell conceded on the second occasion she did so in a “mumbly” voice.

Bell described how the woman appeared to briefly pass out, although she came round and said she was fine.

Later, the woman then asked Bell if they had sex. “I was taken aback. I was shocked. I panicked,” he told jurors.

Asked why, he responded: “I felt as though I had done something wrong, which I hadn’t.”

His barrister, Kim Whittlestone, asked: “Would you have had sexual intercourse with her if you thought she wasn’t consenting to it?”

Bell, of Walls Road, Salterbeck, Workington, replied: “No.”

The trial continues.

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