A JURY is to deliberate the fate of an ex-police officer accused of rape.

The seven men and five women sitting on a jury at Preston Crown Court will decide if Paul John Sandham is guilty of a single count of rape which he claims is a ‘malicious allegation’.

The 42-year-old catholic churchgoer claims the allegation against him is a consequence of spurning his victim’s advances. The claim is wholly disputed by the prosecution.

The court heard Sandham, of Harwood Street, Darwen, allegedly pinned down his victim at his then home 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 women's cries woke another person sleeping at the property.

The women, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described the alleged rape as the moment she felt she ‘lost all of her dignity’.

Throughout the trial, Sandham has maintained his innocence and denied claims he had confessed to two separate people.

Judge Stuart Barker has directed the jury to take as long as they need to arrive at their collective verdict.