Woman woke to find man on top of her, court hears

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 20/05/2014

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A man accused of raping a lesbian in Dannevirke says the sex was consensual.

Brendon Horne, 22, faces one charge of raping the woman.

His trial began in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday.

Crown prosecutor Daniel Flinn said the complainant had gone to Dannevirke to visit relatives in April last year.

She stayed in the Tararua town longer than first planned, and ended up going to a 21st party. Horne was also at the party, and both of them had been drinking.

They were taken back to the complainant's sister's house and put to bed in the lounge. It was while they were in the lounge that the woman was raped, Flinn said. Flinn also said the woman was a homosexual.

While in the witness box, the complainant said she had vomited and was put to bed on the couch.

She said she awoke to find Horne on top of her with "his tongue down my throat".

She soon realised she had no pants on and Horne was having sex with her. He stopped her from yelling out by putting his hand over her mouth, she said.

She grabbed his hair and tried to push him off, she said, and tried unsuccessfully to hurt his genitals.

Horne only got off when someone walked into the lounge and turned on the light, she said.

In their opening addresses, both Flinn and defence lawyer Paul Knowsley said the sex between the two was acknowledged.

However, the main issue was around consent - the prosecution said there was none, while the defence submits there was. Knowsley said the jury had to ask themselves if it was rape or "a sexual encounter that both people consented to".

"Was this sexual intercourse rape, or, rather, a story that you might think is as old as time itself? - a story of a false complaint by a woman who chose to have drunken sex with the wrong person after a party."

He put it to the complainant that she had lied because she was embarrassed. She denied that, saying she had no reason to have sex with a male.

"Why would I suddenly sleep with boys when I haven't my whole entire life? And if I did, I wouldn't be ashamed of it. I'm not ashamed to be who I am."

The man who turned on the light said he shouted at the two of them, and Horne repeatedly said he was sorry.

The trial before Judge David Smith and a jury of 11 - one juror had to be released soon after they were selected - continues.

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- Manawatu Standard

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