Woman tells court of attack 26 years ago as trial begins

Daniel Bates

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A WOMAN has told how she was ordered into a car, threatened at knifepoint and raped 26 years ago.

The victim told a court of her alleged ordeal as the trial began of a man accused of the crime.

Michael Slevin, who was in the navy and living at HMS Sultan at the time, has been charged with the assault after a review of cold cases using DNA analysis.

Slevin, now 52, denies carrying out the rape.

The woman, who was 19 at the time, said she was walking home after watching a film at a friend’s house on the night of March 12, 1985, when she saw a car drive past her twice.

The third time she saw the vehicle it was parked in Toronto Place, Gosport, and as she passed it a man got out and shouted. The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court: ‘I saw a man standing there. I stopped and the man came around the front of the car. I noticed he had something in his hand, I thought it looked like a screwdriver. I thought, it may only be a screwdriver but he could do some damage with that.’

Once inside the car she said he locked the doors and ordered her to get undressed.

When she refused Slevin put a knife to her throat and said ‘you will do as you are told’ the court heard.

‘I thought “oh my god, this is serious”,’ she said.

‘I complied with what he said.’

She said she was then forced to carry out a sex act before being raped. After the attack she made a break for it when Slevin was doing his trousers up, the court heard.

She said: ‘At that time I knew he was distracted. It was my chance to get out. All the time this had been going on I had been planning how to get out. I knew I had to get out and I knew where the release button in the door was and I knew where the handle to open the door was.

‘I simultaneously grabbed them both, pulled and I fell out. I fell on to the pavement and grazed my knee. He still had hold of my skirt and I screamed.’

Asked by Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, what she did next the woman said: ‘He let go and I just ran. I ran like the wind.’

The woman ran to a nearby kebab house in Forton Road and staff called her parents and the police.

The court heard Slevin was arrested last year after police reopened the case and used advances in DNA analysis.

Dr Jonathan Whitaker, a forensic scientist who specialises in DNA profiling, said a swab taken from the victim contained Slevin’s DNA.

He said: ‘These findings would be in keeping, in my opinion, with intercourse having taken place between Slevin and the female.’

Slevin, now living in Tamar Close, Callington, in Cornwall, denies charges of rape, kidnap, two of indecent assault and one other sexual offence.

(Proceeding)

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