Woman raped so violently she thought she was going to die


A cleaner ‘thought she was dying’ as she was suffocated and violently raped while walking through a park to work in the early morning, a court heard.

The woman was left ‘naked, badly injured and semi-conscious’ after being ambushed in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens on November 13.

Prosecutor Robert Bryan told Winchester Crown Court she suffered bruising and cuts to her face with injuries to her jaw and a fractured eye socket, adding: ‘She was groaning in pain but apart from that couldn’t communicate with anyone.’

Luke West, 29, from Southampton, denies rape and GBH with intent.

Mr Bryan said the woman was found by a colleague who began searching for her after she failed to show up for work and did not answer her phone.

Jurors were told the woman described to police in a video interview that ‘someone attacked her from behind, that person grabbed her with both hands around her neck’.

The prosecutor continued: ‘She started screaming, he put his hand over her mouth and started suffocating her.

‘He got her to the ground and began rolling her towards the water, she tried to defend herself but she couldn’t make a noise because she was suffocating.

‘All the time she thought he wanted to kill her as there were times she couldn’t breathe.

‘He started hitting her face with his fists. She thought she was dying, she didn’t know what happened to her clothes.’

West was arrested after police traced his movements through CCTV footage, jurors heard.

Mr Bryan said a search of his hotel room turned up a jacket and pair of black jeans both stained with blood and bearing DNA which matched the victim.

Intimate swabs taken from the woman also matched West’s DNA, the prosecutor added.

The trial continues.