Brighton man accused of raping two women he met on Plenty of Fish

The Argus: Brighton man accused of raping two women he met on Plenty of Fish Brighton man accused of raping two women he met on Plenty of Fish

A scared and suicidal rape victim came forward after seeing her alleged attacker on the front page of The Argus.

An appeal by the newspaper follow- ing the death of Pauline Jenkins in 2011 resulted in a second woman contacting police after recognising Stephen Edwards, a court heard.

Ms Jenkins, who is said to have been raped by Edwards just moments before her death, was found the following morning in her Woodingdean home with bruises to her head and thigh and ripped underwear.

Edwards, of Merevale, Brighton, is accused of raping both women after meeting them on dating website Plenty of Fish.

A jury at Hove Crown Court heard Edwards, 48, met the second woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in July 2010. Their relationship began when they met on the internet.

Michael Warren, prosecuting, told how they went on to meet a number of times in Brighton and started a sexual relationship.

Giving evidence via a pre-recorded police interview, she told how concerns grew after one sexual encounter in which he bit her chest, pulled her hair and forced her down causing her to struggle for breath.

She added he became more abusive after a threesome he had requested fell through – because the alleged victim’s friend could not get a babysitter.

On the occasion the rape is alleged, the pair met at a pub before going to the defendant’s flat.

She told the jury how she felt more drunk than she expected, adding Edwards closed the door to his kitchen when topping up her glass.

After refusing to give him oral sex, she claims he went behind her and shoved her to her knees.

Police said that when the victim protested and asked him what he was doing he said: “Shut up, you f***ing love it”.

The victim said: “He pushed me down and had a hand on my back. I couldn’t get him off.”

She told the jury how her body was “paralysed” through- out the incident adding she left the following morning “feeling dirty”.

The court heard she ended the relationship soon after and was taken into the Mill View mental health hospital because she “wanted to end it”.

She added: “I just wanted to kill myself. I was too scared to go to the police because I didn’t think they would believe a word I said.”

The prosecution added it was only after Ms Jenkins’ death when Edwards’ photo appeared in a local newspaper that she came forward.

Edwards also met Ms Jenkins on the Plenty of Fish website and visited her house in Rosebery Avenue on February 5, 2011.

Ms Jenkins, who had a drinking problem, had downed six times the drink drive limit when the pair had sex, the jury heard.

The prosecution said she died moments later.

The 46-year-old was found in the morning naked and in a pool of blood.

Her death was later attributed to a medical condition.

Edwards claims he had sex with her before falling asleep – only to find her dead in the morning.

He denies both charges of rape.

The trial continues.

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