Soldier denies Colne bathroom ‘rape’


A serving soldier allegedly hit and orally raped a frightened young woman in the bathroom of a house in Colne, a jury heard.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Shaun Aspin was said to have slapped the naked 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. The woman claimed the defendant told her: “I don’t want to hit you, but you are making me hit you.”

Aspin (24) was said to have earlier got “very, very drunk” in a Nelson pub and had gone to the house by taxi after 11pm, shortly before the alleged incident on February 17th.

He was said to have followed the woman, who lives in the Pendle area, to the bathroom when she went to use the lavatory. She had repeatedly asked him to leave and he had refused. The woman locked herself in the bathroom and called the police after the alleged rape as the defendant smashed his way in and demanded to know who she was talking to. She hurriedly got dressed and fled from the property, the hearing was told.

Aspin, from Portland Street, Colne, denies rape and, the jury heard, claims the woman voluntarily performed oral sex on him.

Elizabeth Nicholls (prosecuting) said after the alleged rape, the woman texted her sister, asking her to go to the house immediately.

Aspin began banging on the bathroom door and the alleged victim called the police at 11-48pm. He then punched a panel on the door, was able to unlock it, got into the bathroom and demanded to know who the woman had been speaking to. The alleged victim grabbed her clothes from downstairs, dressed hurriedly and left the house. She encountered the police on the street and told officers the defendant had slapped her in the face.The woman’s sister arrived, was very angry and had to be restrained by the police.

Miss Nicholls said Aspin was arrested and taken to the police station and the alleged victim was also taken to the police station to make a complaint of physical assault. At the station, she told officers Aspin had forced her into a sex act and she had not wanted it to happen.

The defendant was interviewed by the police and denied he had raped the woman. He claimed she had taken her clothes off and had effectively taken him by the hand upstairs, where she voluntarily performed oral sex on him.

He said he had left the bathroom, had heard her on the telephone and because he was anxious she was causing trouble for him, he accepted he broke into the bathroom.

Miss Nicholls 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.”

In her video interview with police, played to the court, the woman said she was shocked when Aspin allegedly slapped her very hard on her cheek. She said she thought: “If I retaliate it will just be worse”.

The alleged victim claimed Aspin told her to just do what he said, raised his hand again and told her she was making him hit her. She said after the defendant broke a door panel off, she noticed he had blood on his knuckles.

The woman continued: “I was trying to stay calm. I thought if I showed I was scared, it would make him worse. I thought I need to stay calm until the police get here.”

The woman said Aspin must have realised it was the police she had called and he called her a bitch. She said she ran up the street to where she saw a police van and car. The alleged victim said: “I was shaking and almost in tears.”