March 11 2014 Latest news:
EXCLUSIVE by Josh Pettitt , Reporter
Thursday, April 26, 2012
A woman was raped at knife-point after a gang of masked men broke into her home, a court heard on Tuesday (April 24).
The 25-year-old had been dozing in front of the television in the early hours when four men – who wore black scarves over their faces – burst into her Camden Town flat demanding money and threatening her with large kitchen knives, jurors heard.
The prosecution said the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, screamed for help and begged her attackers not to harm her.
But she was dragged into her bedroom and raped by a 16-year-old from Kentish Town, who held a knife to her neck and told her he was going to murder her.
She continued to shout and cry for help for up to three minutes as another 16-year-old, from St Pancras, armed with a knife and wielding a chair as a weapon, looked on.
The gang stole £200 in cash and a £400 digital camera and then fled the flat, leaving the victim in a tearful heap on the bed, a jury at Blackfriars Crown Court was told.
Jason Sugarman, prosecuting, said: “It’s an horrific aggravated burglary that turns into a violent rape of a 25-year-old in her own home in the early hours of the morning – probably one of the worst types of offence that anyone could ever experience.”
The two teenagers, who cannot be named due to their age, deny rape and aggravated burglary.
Defence solicitors do not dispute that the victim was raped, but argue that the two teenagers have been wrongly identified as the culprits.
The court heard that at 1am on November 16 last year, the victim, who works in a fast food restaurant, had been watching television in her first-floor living room when she heard a noise from downstairs.
The 25-year-old dismissed the disturbance as rats, but moments later a boy in a black scarf emerged from a bedroom door.
He picked up a long kitchen knife and shouted repeatedly: “I am going to kill you. Where is the money?” the victim told the court.
The 25-year-old said she tried to escape, but the three others blocked her path.
The victim then claims she was pushed backwards into her bedroom and on to her bed as another boy banged a chair to try to stop her from screaming.
The boys ransacked her room for cash and valuables and raped her.
She turned all the lights on in the house, staying in bed crying and unable to sleep until around 3pm, and at first was “too ashamed” to tell her family of the sexual assault.
She called the police later that afternoon.
The trial continues.