Lesbian wedding guest ‘left reception and woke up naked on pub floor being raped’

Charles Franklin leaving Bristol Crown Court
Charles Franklin leaving Bristol Crown Court
Charles Franklin leaving Bristol Crown Court
Charles Franklin leaving Bristol Crown Court

A lesbian wedding guest left the reception only to wake up naked on a pub floor being raped, a court heard.

The 30-year-old was described as being “a couple of drinks away from paralytic” when she left the function and staggered off into the night.

Her next memory is waking up naked on the floor of Somerset House pub in posh Clifton, Bristol, being raped by Charles Franklin, a jury was told.

He threatened to break her neck if she struggled and she later escaped through a window after he fell asleep, it was said.

Franklin, also 30, denies rape and claims that “one thing led to another” after he offered to charge her mobile phone at the pub.

In a police interview the day after the alleged assault, the woman told officers she left the function at 1am after “a lot of drinking”.

She could not remember leaving but a forensic back calculation revealed that, at 3.45am, she had alcohol in her system equivalent to three times the drive-drive limit.

“The next thing I remember was being on the floor of this pub with a guy,” she said.

“He stripped me. He was trying to force himself on me. I was struggling quite a lot. He told me if I kept struggling he would break my neck, so I let him do what he wanted.”

After the attack the man sat at the bar and watched TV while she lay naked on the floor, she claimed.

“I managed to find my coat and I pretended to be asleep so he wouldn’t come back,” she said. “I looked around to see where the doors were. I decided to get up to see if there was a toilet or a window.”

She could not find a way out and the pair went upstairs to a bedroom where the man tried, but failed, to have sex with her again before falling asleep.

The victim then put on Franklin’s jeans and T-shirt before climbing out of a window. She then went to a kebab van and borrowed a mobile phone to raise the alarm with her mother, who came to pick her up.

“She got straight in the car and said, ‘I’ve been raped’,” her mother told Bristol Crown Court.

Police later found Franklin’s wallet in the jeans pocket and tracked him down to the pub, where he was still asleep at 9am.

He told them he met the woman in the street, offered to charge her phone at the pub, and “one thing led to another” on the pub floor.

Nurse Michelle McTigue, of The Bridge sexual assault referral centre in Bristol, said she examined the woman and found she had cuts and scrapes to intimate areas.

Franklin, of Withywood, Bristol, denies rape and attempted rape.

The case continues.


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