Man 'stunk of fags and booze' during alleged attack and sexual assault

First published in News

A BURLY attacker punched and sexually assaulted a woman after being let into her home, a court heard.

Six foot five tall John McHale is accused of hitting the alleged victim hard in the chest, grabbing hold of her hair and then putting his hand down her trousers.

He denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by penetration, offences said to have been committed on November 24 last year, and is on trial at Teesside Crown Court.

In a video played to the jury the woman claimed she was called a “slut” and other names during the alleged attack.

She said Mr McHale “stunk of stale fags and booze”.

The complainant said the alleged sexual assault left her feeling “horrid”. She described how she screamed for a neighbour to call 999.

Mr McHale, 40, of Millfield Road, Fishburn, County Durham, watched intently as the woman’s account was relayed to the jury.

In his account, the defendant said the woman had “kicked off” at him, screaming and shouting. He described the incident as “six and two threes”, adding: “I did shout and bawl, but I did not hit her or anything."

Mr McHale told police he had drunk seven or eight pints in a local club on the evening of the alleged attack, before buying four cans of lager from a newsagents.

He was also said to be agitated and had to be restrained by police officers after deliberately bashing his head against a police vehicle following his arrest.

When the sexual assault was put to him, he said: “No, I never touched her. I am not like that.”

The jury was told that the defendant had a previous conviction from July 2009 for breaching a non-molestation order against a former partner.

The trial continues.

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