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Crown court hears that alleged victim has since died
1:38pm Tuesday 17th July 2012 in Local
A man has gone on trial accused of raping a woman who died shortly before the case came to court.
Michael Burgess is said to have smashed up the woman’s home and punched her, before pinning her down on the stairs and forcing himself on her.
But Burgess, 26, claims it is not true saying nothing sexual happened and he was the victim of an assault by the woman after he fell asleep while they were drinking wine together.
Tom Wright, prosecuting, told a jury of eight men and four women that the complainant could not appear in court as she had died.
However he said police had a video interview she gave the day after the incident in which she says Burgess raped her.
Mr Wight said Burgess knocked on her door of her Calne home carrying two bottles of wine on the evening of Wednesday, January 18.
Although she only ‘vaguely’ knew him he said she let him in.
“It may have been something to do with the drink: a weakness she had,” Mr Wright told Swindon Crown Court.
They spent a while sitting and chatting as they drank the wine and, she told police, Burgess asked if he could stay the night.
When she refused, she said he started throwing CDs on the floor in the kitchen and turned over the coffee table in the living room, smashing the glass top.
Although she tried to get him out of the flat she said she had locked the front door, so could not, and she said he then struck her to the face a number of times.
He then pushed her down on to the stairs and raped her as she screamed and shouted for help, the jury was told.
As the alleged fracas was going on neighbours heard the noise and called the police.
Mr Wright said Burgess was then aggressive towards officers as they arrested him and the woman told them he had raped her.
Swabs were taken from him and were found to have the DNA of the woman on them, the court was told.
When he was questioned Burgess gave police a prepared statement saying no sexual contact had taken place at any time.
He said he fell asleep and woke with her striking him with a bottle and in self defence he pushed her, causing her to crack her head on the door while he fell on the coffee table.
Burgess, who is homeless, pleaded not guilty to rape, assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage. The case continues.