Woman breaks down giving evidence in rape trial

A woman broke down in court and wept as she described how her life had been ‘turned upside down’ after she was allegedly raped at a swingers’ club.

The woman, who is in her early 20s and was dressed as a vampire, claims she was raped by a cabaret artist dressed as Herman Munster during a Halloween fancy dress party at sex club La Chambre.

Jeremy Frazer Newton Smith, aged 45, formerly of Tingley but now of Regent Street, London, denies rape.

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Asked by Judge Peter Kelson QC how the incident had affected her, she said: “This last nine months have been absolute torture.

“I have had to live with this, I’ve not be able to move on from it at all. It has completely turned my life upside down.”

The court heard the woman and two friends, who were dressed as a bunny girl and a red devil, were members of the Sheffield club and had been to the venue every Saturday night for two months prior to the incident in the early hours of October 27 last year.

The woman claimed she became separated from her friends and Smith pulled her into a mirrored indoor smoking room and raped her.

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She said: “My body just went into shock. I was just completely frozen. I was really rigid and tense.”

Kama Melly, defending, said upstairs in the club there were ‘playrooms’ with beds where members went to have and watch consensual sex.

There was a ‘dungeon’ downstairs and the areas were signposted ‘stairway to heaven’ and ‘stairway to hell’.

Miss Melly said on the ground floor there was a bar, sauna and swimming pool where members had sex and a giant plasma screens showing pornography.

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The woman admitted chatting to Smith about his work with celebrities and sharing bottles of wine with him and his friends.

She wept as Miss Melly asked her: “It wasn’t rape was it? it was sex that you regretted after it had happened?”

She replied: “I wouldn’t have put myself through all this if it wasn’t rape.”

“I’m aware of where I was that night.

“I thought, ‘you’re in a sex club, can you really say you’ve been raped here?’ but why should I not report it just because somebody might not believe me?”

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Asked why she reported it to the police, she said: “Just because of where it was, it doesn’t mean that gave him the right to do that to me.”

“I didn’t give him any indication I wanted to have sex with him that night. He shouldn’t get away with what he’s done.”

The jury also heard from the woman’s friend.

She said she didn’t go to La Chambre to have sex but to ‘meet people, have a drink and a laugh’.

She agreed the girls had socialised with Smith and his friends and Smith was encouraging them to down glasses of wine.

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She said she’d seen Smith put his hand on the alleged victim’s leg and her push it away, only for him to put it back and had also seen him put his arm around her friend’s shoulders and waist.

The woman told the jury as soon as she had walked into the mirrored room where the alleged attack took place, she thought there was ‘something wrong’.

“I felt like something out of the ordinary had gone on,” she said.

“She just looked completely shaken. I had never seen her like that before. In 10 years I’ve never seen her look that shaken up or scared.

“He was wearing green make up and it was on her face.”

The trial continues.