JURORS in the trial of a Flintshire chef accused of rape were told by a key witness that the alleged victim was so drunk she could barely speak.

The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was being cross-examined in Chester Crown Court by barrister Deborah Gould, who is defending Mark Caunce who denies rape, assault and causing grievous bodily harm.

The prosecution claim Caunce subjected the 30-year-old woman, who had been to Cruise nightclub in Chester earlier that night, to a brutal 45-minute ordeal before calmly getting a taxi home.

The witness, who had been drinking with the alleged victim for most of the night prior to the incident, told the court she had seen her kissing two different men during the course of the evening.

She had also overheard one of the men offer to take her home and sleep with her.

As the evening wore on the witness became increasingly worried over the woman’s condition as she consumed more alcohol.

Under cross-examination the witness told the court that at about 1am she had offered her friend a place to stay for the night.

But the woman had turned down the offer and told her work colleague she would be fine.

CCTV footage shown to the court showed the witness helping the woman out of Cruise and then went off to look for her other friends to tell them about the woman’s condition.

But the video then shows the alleged victim leaving the scene on her own, walking in the direction of Foregate Street near to where the alleged attack took place in the early hours of July 26.

Miss Gould suggested the witness did not override her friend’s decision not to spend the night at her house because she did not feel the alleged victim was incapable of looking after herself.

She added the woman was able to put on her coat and then walk off in a particular direction, showing she was capable of making decisions.

She said: “You do not have to hold her up. She can walk on her own.”

David Potter, prosecuting, who said the alleged victim was too drunk to be able to have consensual sex with chef Caunce, 21, of Victoria Road, Buckley, asked the witness to describe the way in which the woman had been talking over the course of the night.

The witness said: “She was not able to speak legibly. As the night wore on she got more and more quiet.”