Westminster rape trial: Samuel Armstrong 'victim gave story to press'

Samuel Armstrong arriving at Westminster Magistrates' CourtImage copyright

Image caption

Samuel Armstrong has claimed what happened took place with “full consent”

A woman who claims she was raped by a MP’s chief of staff in Westminster gave the story to journalists hours after the alleged attack, a jury has heard.

Samuel Armstrong, of Danbury, Essex, denies two charges of rape and two of sexual assault on 14 October 2016.

Southwark Crown Court heard the woman sent a message to her boyfriend.

“Keeping you in the loop. I’ve given it to Harry Cole who works for the Sun. It will either be in the Mail on Sunday or the Sun front page on Monday,” it said.

Jurors were told the message was sent 15 hours after the alleged assault, and a later message said: “The media already knew so this is my way of controlling it to ensure I get a sympathetic writer.”

‘Wanted control’

When Sarah Forshaw QC, defending, asked the woman, a parliamentary worker in her 20s, about the messages, she insisted she did not sell the story and explained it had been a friend who spoke to the Sun.

She said: “I really didn’t want my identity to come out and it was a state where I had absolutely no control in the event, so I wanted a little bit of control.”

The court has heard claims the attack happened in the early hours in the Westminster office of South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay after the woman fell asleep there after a night drinking.

The woman said Mr Armstrong, 24, of Copt Hill, called her a “bitch” and raped her twice after she turned down an invitation to go back to his flat in Clapham, south London .

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

It is claimed the attack happened in the Westminster office of South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay

Ms Forshaw suggested the woman became distressed when she tried to leave Westminster after having consensual sex with Mr Armstrong.

“When it was over you were not upset with him at all, were you?” she asked.

But the woman answered: “Yes – I was completely confused and devastated in the truest sense of that word.”

The woman admitted sending a request to Mr Armstrong to follow him on Twitter in September 2017 but said it was an accident.

Image caption

Mr Armstrong’s defence lawyer suggested the woman became distressed as she left

Ms Forshaw asked her: “I don’t suggest you have deliberately set out to lie to get Sam in trouble. I suggest you told a lie at the time and once you had told it you couldn’t take it back?”

The alleged victim replied: “You would be incorrect.”

Mr Forshaw then asked her: “You don’t have any animosity towards Sam even now, do you?”

The woman replied: “No. It’s something I have struggled with in the last year.”

Ms Forshaw also put it to her that everything that happened in Mr Mackinlay’s office was with her consent, but the woman answered: “No, absolutely not.”

The trial continues.

Source link

Leave a Reply