A WOMAN allegedly raped by an ex-policeman has appeared in court to describe the moment she felt she ‘lost all of her dignity’.

Paul John Sandham appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday accused of a single count of rape.

The prosecution case alleges the 42-year-old pinned down his victim, who is now in her 30s, at a house in Blackburn and despite her pleas for him to stop he forced himself upon her.

The court heard the alleged rape only stopped when the woman’s cries woke someone else sleeping at the property.

Giving evidence the victim, who cannot be named, said Sandham had got into bed with her.

She said: “I didn’t want him to touch me. I physically removed his hands from my body but he just ignored me and carried on.

“He then pinned me down and forcefully removed my underwear.

“I begged him to stop but he wasn’t responding and despite my fighting I knew he had overpowered me.

“At that moment I felt I had lost all of my dignity.”

The court heard the victim had not immediately reported the incident to the police.

A few years later, while on holiday with her mother, the victim spoke out about what had happened, and told her mother she had been seeking counselling.

The victim finally managed to summon the courage to alert police in December 2011. She was later video interviewed by officers in January 2012.

Sandham, of Harwood Street, Darwen, was arrested in February 2012 and responded with ‘no comments’ throughout his interview apart from when he provided a short statement through his solicitor, denying the rape and claiming it was a malicious allegation.

The jury made up of seven men and five women have been told by the prosecution they will hear evidence over the next two days from a former partner of Sandham’s to whom he allegedly admitted forcing himself on his victim.