Defendant denies rape and assault charges

Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer
Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer
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AN ‘obsessive compulsive’ stood in the dock on the third day of a trial at Chichester Crown Court today (Wednesday 18).

Lorne De Angelista, 46, of Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton, is on trial for two counts of buggery, two counts of rape and one count of actual bodily harm.

He is also accused of cruelty towards a child and denies all charges.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, this week told jurors at Chichester Crown Court the offences happened between 1986 and 1993, in Summersdale, Chichester.

The defence case began after the Observer went to press.

De Angelista said the victim’s evidence made her experiences seem like ‘Apocalypse Now’.

He said he did not recall forcing the woman to have sex.

“You can be quite a charming man when you put your mind to it can’t you,” said Gabrielle Henty, cross examining.

She referred to a police interview where De Angelista said he ‘was not aware’ of being physically violent.

“Why would you not be aware of whether your were violent or not?” said Miss Henty.

“It’s not about simply forgetting or not being aware of. It should be a yes or no.”

De Angelista said he ‘had never had any problems with women’ and said he wasn’t violent.

The defendant denied intimidating the victim and questioned why she never went to the police.

De Angelista said it was ‘a shame she took 26 years to say it’.

The trial continues.