DCSIMG

Accused rapist challenged over sexual encounter

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A SHOP worker accused of rape told a jury yesterday that he had never touched the alleged victim.

Hassan Akhtar, 37, of Dean Road, South Shields, said his DNA was found at one of the locations where the alleged offences are said to have taken place because he had had consensual sex there with his co-accused – Muriel Coleman.

Durham Crown Court heard Coleman, 50, denied having sex with Akhtar, but she has admitted two charges of encouraging a sexual offence by him against the alleged victim.

She earlier gave 
evidence against him.

The jury was told Akhtar, 37, is a married father-of-three who came to the UK from Pakistan when he was five.

He met Coleman about seven years ago when she visited shops he worked in.

He said: “She would give me the looks when she came in. She made sexual comments to me. Several times she asked me for money, I said I would give her some. But I didn’t promise.

“I am not a wealthy person, and I was sending money home to Pakistan.”

Akhtar told the jury there were two other women who visited the shop and wanted sex with him.

Under cross-examination, Sarah Mallett, prosecuting, said to him: “When you were first interviewed by the police, you said there were no encounters, then it was one, then two.

“Now you are saying it is three.

“It is all a pack of lies, isn’t it?”

Akhtar said he was not lying about having sex with Coleman.

He added: “It is not a good thing, it is a 
shameful thing.”

Akhtar denies four charges of rape, and one charge of attempted rape.

n The case continues.

 
 
 

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