A CONTROLLING man raped a woman on the day she had an abortion, a court heard.

Andrew Ford is accused of the rape and of acting in a coercive and controlling way towards the woman.

The 23-year-old is on trial at Hove Crown Court over his behaviour, where jurors were told he kicked, slapped and punched the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

He denies the charges but Jennifer Gray, prosecuting, told jurors that Ford has admitted attempting to rape a second woman and falsely imprisoning her in Brighton’s Pavilion Gardens in June last year.

Ford was shown on CCTV footage using a “particular choke hold” to drag that woman, who also cannot be identified, into bushes after he had been on a night out.

The incident led to the area being closed off to the public while forensics officers searched for clues.

Meanwhile police made a public appeal for information and released a picture of Ford.

Following a report in The Argus, the first woman came forward to say she recognised him and then told police details of his violence and how he had forced himself upon her.

She showed officers a similar type of choke hold Ford used, which she said would leave her powerless to resist him.

Ms Gray, prosecuting, showed jurors CCTV footage of Ford dragging the second woman into bushes in Pavilion Gardens and said the victim in the first case did not know the details of the incident.

She said: “She described the behaviour of Ford and it is of a controlling nature. She arrived in Brighton as a student and had never had a boyfriend before, so she was rather naive.

“He would then undermine her appearance and relied on her limited funds and part-time earnings, as a result they would argue about money.”

Ms Gray said Ford used violence against the woman and controlled her to such an extent that she thought she deserved it.

She said: “Even before the violence started he had shown her a choke hold that would effectively render her powerless to resist. When he then began to be violent towards her he would at times use the choke hold to overpower her in a way that she knew she could not escape.”

The woman alleges Ford forced himself upon her shortly after she had an abortion.

Despite her telling him this, he forced himself upon her, the court heard.

Ford, a labourer, formerly of Bramber Way, Stanmer Heights, Brighton, denies the charges. The trial will continue next week.