Court hears Flintshire man subjected woman to 'brutal' 45-minute rape

Reporter:

Robert Platt

A FLINTSHIRE chef subjected a terrified woman to a brutal 45-minute rape attack and then calmly ordered a taxi to go home, a court heard.

Mark Caunce, 21, of Victoria Road, Buckley, is on trial at Chester Crown Court and denies charges of rape, assault and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

The alleged incident took place last summer in the Foregate Street area of Chester.

Caunce works as a chef at the Best Western Queen Hotel on Chester’s City Road.

David Potter, prosecuting, said Caunce, of Victoria Road, Buckley admitted having sex with the victim but said it was consensual.

Mr Potter said: “The complainant in this case is a 30-year-old woman who he had never met before.

"On the night in question she was extremely drunk. The prosecution would say that would have been extremely obvious.

“On this night the victim was taken to an isolated area in a car park area where for the next 45 minutes Mark Caunce brutally raped her and then calmly went across the road to a taxi office where he got a taxi to his home in Buckley.

“Half an hour later the complainant walked out of the alleyway. She had a broken nose, a fractured eye socket, a fractured cheekbone, at least one significant blow by a hard, star-shaped object, bruising around the neck, which is consistent with strangulation, injuries to the inside and outside of her lips, consistent with evidence that someone tried to stop her from screaming, and she was bleeding profusely.”

He added: “The prosecution maintains by the time the complainant encountered Mark Caunce, she was so drunk she was incapable of consent.

"Given her condition, the defendant could not have believed she was consenting.

“Secondly, the level of extreme violence demonstrates the level of force Mark Caunce needed to rape her, which contradicts his assertion of consensual sex.”

Prior to the incident, the victim had gone to several bars and nightclubs around Chester city centre.

She drank excessive amounts of alcohol before ending up with her friends in Cruise nightclub.

Some of her friends became concerned over her condition, with one of them advising her to drink only cola.

CCTV footage, which was shown to the jury, showed the victim slumped over a sloped wall just outside the club.

A friend was seen trying to help her before wandering off.

The victim then walked alone up St John Street towards Foregate Street.

Two other witnesses, who had gone to Burger King in Foregate Street, recognised the victim and saw she was kissing a man who they did not know.

Another video captured by CCTV shows the pair walking down Foregate Street arm-in-arm, until they reach an alleyway leading to Parkers Buildings across from Abbey Taxis. That was at about 2am.

Not long afterwards, Mr Potter said four nearby residents heard a man’s voice and a woman’s voice screaming and shouting.

At about 2.45am it is alleged Caunce left the alleyway and walked across the road to the taxi office.

The taxi company employees saw that he was covered in blood and made him clean up before letting him get into one of their vehicles.

About half an hour later, the alleged victim also emerged from the alleyway.

An ambulance was called. The victim later said she could not recall the assault, and only remembered waking up in hospital.

Witnesses who will be called to testify include doctors and other medical specialists.

Proceeding

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