Trial hears of suicide attempt

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A woman who claims she was raped as a teenager has told a jury she attempted to take her own life.

The woman, who is now in her 20s, alleges she was raped by teacher Stewart Robert Smith when she was 14-years-old.

Smith, of Winchester Park, denies three charges of rape and one charge of indencent assault alleged to have occurred between December 1, 2002 and August 31, 2003.

Giving evidence to the Derry Crown Court jury of eight men and four women, the complainant said the 39-year-old was a “frequent” visitor to her home and he formed a friendship with her and her mother.

She claimed he took her out for drives in his car and she began to clean his house once a week to earn some pocket money.

The woman told the jurors Smith would have been in her house “near enough” every weekend and would often bring alcohol with him to share with her mother.

She said that a couple of weeks after her 14th birthday, he brought a bottle of Aftershock and her mother allowed her to have a couple of shots.

She claimed that when her mother went to bed she stayed up drinking with Smith and became “quite tipsy and drunk”.

The woman said she went to the bathroom at one stage but did not lock the door as she “felt comfortable and safe” with Smith.

She claimed that the 39-year-old followed her into the bathroom and kissed her. She revealed she “wasn’t sure how to react” and said the alleged incident was “very confusing”.

The woman then wept as she alleged Smith took her into a spare bedroom and raped her. She said she “didn’t know what was happening. It was overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do at all “.

She claimed Smith approached her at a bus stop a short time later “to talk about what had happened” but said: “I pretended not to know what he was talking about. It was uncomfortable, it was overwhelming and I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone. I would have preferred to just forget about it.”

The jury also heard allegations that following the first alleged rape, Smith took the teenager to the cinema and to a local bar on New Year’s Eve 2002, where she got “very intoxicated”.

The woman claimed that some time later Smith came round to her home, kissed her and touched her.

She told the jury: “I don’t know what was going on. It was like after the first incident there was like this warped, weird relationship and I didn’t know how to handle it.”

The woman said she “didn’t know how all this stuff happened it just did “.

During the course of her evidence, she revealed Smith bought her tickets to see a Liverpool match and they stayed in England for three days.

She said while there Smith paid for both of them to get tattoos and signed the permission forms for her as she was underage.

The jurors heard that the woman had no further contact with Smith for a while, until the night she attempted to take her own life.

She claimed that Smith phoned her and she told him she had taken “quite a lot of tablets”. She said that the 39-year-old came over to her house, woke her mother up and she was then taken to hospital and kept overnight.

In the summer of 2003, the woman said Smith invited her over to his house, where she got “very, very drunk” and claimed he raped her again.

She said she contacted him three weeks later because she was concerned that she was pregnant. However, Smith allegedly told her not to worry because he “had the snip”.

The university graduate revealed she decided to go police in 2009, after completing a work placement which saw her working with 14-year-olds.

She claimed this made her realise “how wrong” the alleged incidents with Smith were.

The trial continues today when the complainant is expected to be cross-examined by Smith’s defence lawyer.