Man '˜shocked' to be accused of raping teen
A man accused of raping a teenager he met in a Blackpool nightclub has told a court he did not know why she was crying when she left his flat in a taxi.
Steven Peter, 38, said he had sex with the woman but insisted she had consented.
Nigerian national Peter, of no fixed address, blamed language difficulties for inconsistencies between the account he gave to the police and his evidence in court.
He said: “It was a big shock. Someone accused me of rape.
“That shocked me. Someone accused me of rape.
“I was ‘how could this happen? Where could this happen?’”
Peter handed himself in to police last April after his picture was circulated on social media and in the press.
He claimed to have been on the run from immigration authorities and said had he realised he was wanted on suspicion of rape he would have handed himself in straight away.
He told the court he had been with the woman on the night before Christmas Eve and gave her money for a taxi after they had sex at the flat in Park Road, Blackpool.
Speaking from the witness box at Preston Crown Court, Peter told the jury the woman had touched him over his clothes while they were dancing in Flamingos nightclub earlier that night.
He said when they left the club he had been giving her a piggyback and was with him when he asked a friend for a condom – which he did not use.
Michael Maher, prosecuting, asked Peter: “Does it surprise you that she was crying in the car immediately after leaving your flat?
Peter replied: “It surprised me that she said I raped her. I don’t know why she’s crying. I don’t know why she’s crying.
“There was no quarrelling. We never had a fight. She was happy to go with me.”
Mr Maher said: “There was no quarrel because you forced yourself on her and she submitted.’But Peter replied: “I never forced myself on her.”
Peter denies rape.
Earlier in proceedings, the woman said she found herself alone in the living room with Peter, where she says he raped her.
In a recorded police interview, played to the court, she said: “The more I asked him (to stop) the more aggressive he got. It was like I was feeding him.”
After the attack the woman went to find her friend - who was in another room with another man.
She said: “I didn’t cry. I was shaking and my friend could tell I had been crying.’