A MAN who is accused of attempting to rape a woman after picking her up in his car outside a nightclub said she had invited him to a party and gave him money to buy her cocaine.

Christopher Johnson denies attempted rape, assault by penetration and theft, on August 17 last year in Redcar and is on trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The 45-year-old said the complainant spoke to him while he was sat in his car outside the Top Deck club and asked him to go to a party in nearby Dormanstown.

While they were in the car she gave him £45 and he was directed to the Zetland pub in Middlesbrough to buy cocaine from a man in a red T-shirt.

Having arrived at the pub, but discovered it had closed, he said he then turned around to go back to Dormanstown, only for the woman to ask him to take her to Loftus.

Mr Johnson said he refused as he did not have enough petrol and at that point she became abusive and began swearing and shouting at him.

He said she hit him in the shoulder and tried to grab the steering wheel. He eventually stopped the car and asked her to get out, grabbing her by the coat and “removing” her from the vehicle after she refused to leave.

Cross examining the defendant, Deborah Sherwin said Mr Johnson stole the £45 cash and the alleged victim's mobile phone after failing to have sex with her in his car.

The cash was found by police in a laundry basket at Mr Johnson's house, while the mobile phone – minus its SIM card – had been dumped in a kitchen bin.

The trial continues.

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