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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Cumbria rape trial jury advised to consider verdict carefully

Jurors at a trial into historic sex crime allegations have been told to carefully consider the evidence they have heard.

Iain Hamilton photo
Iain Hamilton

Related: Woman tells Cumbrian trial jury of ‘horrific sex assault'

Both prosecution and defence lawyers in the trial of Iain Gordon Hamilton made the point at Carlisle Crown Court.

Hamilton, 51, of Housesteads Road, Sandsfields Park, Carlisle, has pleaded not guilty to a total of 13 charges dating back to the early 1990s.

Of these, 12 are against one woman; six counts of rape, four of indecent assault and two of assault.

Hamilton also denies an indecent assault charge against another woman.

Neither of the women can be identified for legal reasons.

Previously in the trial Hamilton had been described by Tim Brennand, prosecuting, as someone who showed a “sexual predilection for deviant behaviour”.

The jury of eight women and four men had also heard that he had slapped the first victim during intercourse repeatedly raping her. Jurors had also heard that Hamilton had put a pillow over the head of the second alleged victim and touched her sexually.

Mr Brennand said: “This is a case where you have got to be sure.”

Emphasising this point, he added: “You must reach your conclusion in accordance with the evidence that you have heard.”

Mr Brennand said Hamilton had beaten his victim “black and blue” in the assaults.

He also pointed to doctor’s notes from the early 1990s showing the woman had reported she was raped and covered in bruises to her GP.

Earlier in the day Hamilton had faced cross examination where he had answered detailed questions about the nature of his sexual relationship with one of the women. He had continued to deny carrying out all of the alleged offences.

Mr Brennand said: “This is self-justification from a man locked in denial.”

However, Keith Thomas, defending, said: “You have heard what could probably be said in the words of Tony Blair ‘spin’.”

He said Hamilton had been “consistent” when giving evidence, adding: “He in fact gave evidence; he didn’t have to give evidence but he chose to give evidence. He is just as much a witness as everybody else in the case. If there was this ‘black and blue’ all over you would have expected evidence of it.”

Judge Peter Hughes presiding is expected to address the jury today.

The trial continues.

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