Lancashire TelegraphSoldier wounded in Afghanistan accused of raping woman in Colne (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Soldier wounded in Afghanistan accused of raping woman in Colne

A SOLDIER injured when he was blown up in Afghanistan has denied raping a young woman in the bathroom of a house in Colne.

Burnley Crown Court has heard Shaun Aspin, of the 1st Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, was said to have slapped the alleged victim's face and then struck her again when she refused to give him oral sex.

He allegedly raped her, apologised, but then threatened to hit her again, telling her he was going through a rough time and she should just do what he said and perform the sex act on him.

In her police video interview, the woman had alleged the defendant told her: "I don't want to hit you, but you are making me hit you."

Kingsman Aspin, 24, was said by the prosecution to have earlier got 'very, very drunk' in a Colne pub and had gone to the house by taxi after 11pm, shortly before the alleged incident on February 17.

He was alleged to have followed the woman, who lives in the Pendle area, to the bathroom when she went to use the toilet.

She had repeatedly asked him to leave and he had refused.

The woman locked herself in the bathroom and called police.

She then hurriedly got dressed and fled from the property. Officers arrived and the defendant was arrested, the hearing was told.

Aspin, of Portland Street, Colne, denies rape.

Giving evidence, Aspin, who has been in the Army just over four years and is based at Catterick, told the jury he was injured when he was blown up in Afghanistan. The defendant said he came back with a broken neck and memory loss and had been left with flashbacks and nightmares.

Questioned by his barrister, Kathryn Johnson, Aspin said in the pub he knew he was drunk, but felt fine. He said at the house he thought he and the woman were going to have sexual intercourse.

Aspin claimed the woman initiated a sexual encounter.

Miss Johnson asked him: " Did you hit her ?" The defendant replied: "Yes, in a sexual manner. I slapped her across the face. I thought she would have liked it."

Miss Johnson continued: "Did you hit her to make her perform oral sex on you ?" Aspin answered: "No." The barrister asked: "Did you force her to perform oral sex on you ?" The defendant said: "No."

Aspin said he punched and kicked the bathroom door as he thought the woman was setting him up. Miss Johnson asked him: "Why did you think she was setting you up?"

He replied:" I hadn't done anything wrong and next thing she was ringing the police on me." The defendant was asked by his counsel: "Did you rape her ?" He answered: " No, I didn't."

Prosecutor Elizabeth Nicholls had earlier told the jury: "The issue in this case is was it consensual or not. Of course, the Crown's case is it was not consensual."

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict on Monday or Tuesday.

(Proceeding)

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