‘I’ve had flashback after flashback… I’m petrified of him’

A WOMAN who alleges she was repeatedly raped and assaulted by a 41-year-old man has said she has suffered mental-health problems as a result of her ordeal.

She was giving evidence in the Royal Court on the fourth day of the trial of David Neil Pearce. He denies four charges of rape and three of sexual assault.

The woman told the court that she had suffered complex post-traumatic stress disorder following the alleged offences.

She said: “I’ve had flashback after flashback after flashback. I’m petrified of him.”

She explained that she had sometimes managed to fight Mr Pearce off but added: “I remember him putting his hand over my mouth while I was hysterically screaming.

“He would throw me around a room. He would throw me against the walls.”

Advocate David Steenson, defending, asked the woman why in her initial statement to the police she had said: “I did not feel any injuries.”

“Wasn’t there a bruise or a cut?” he asked.

She replied: “I wasn’t focused on them. I was focused on survival.”

The advocate suggested: “You’re just making this up now.”

She said: “You’re entitled to your opinion.”

Advocate Steenson said: “You would have been black and blue.”

She responded: “There probably were bruises all over me. But I was numb. I couldn’t feel anything.”

The jury were also shown photos of injuries that Mr Pearce himself had sustained and had blamed on the woman.

The advocate told her: “I am suggesting that you caused these injuries.”

She said: “No, I did not.”

Commissioner Alan Binnington is presiding over the trial, which is expected to continue for a number of days.

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