Accused denies raping woman at knifepoint

ipswich crown court

Michael Halford gave his evidence at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A Suffolk man has denied raping a woman at knifepoint and keeping her prisoner during an alleged ordeal lasting five hours.

Giving evidence at Ipswich Crown Court, Michael Halford claimed that he and the woman, who’d met on a dating app, had consensual sex.

He said that after having sex they had gone outside for a cigarette and at no time had he locked her in the house and raped her at knifepoint.

Halford accepted he and the woman had argued about money but claimed that everything had been fine between them when they went to sleep that night.

He said the next morning the alleged victim had been in a bad mood because she was worried about money and had gone to a neighbour’s house.

Halford, 33, who was living in Haverhill, has denied raping the woman, false imprisoning her and assaulting her causing her actual bodily harm.

It has been alleged that Halford became upset when the woman didn’t want to have sex with him.

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He’d then allegedly asked for cash to buy cocaine but she had refused and he’d then allegedly walked into the bedroom holding a knife and held it close to her face.

During the next few hours Halford allegedly manhandled the woman  causing bruises on her arm, thigh and chest and a small cut on her ear.

During the alleged incident the woman had also discovered that all the doors to the house were locked and that Halford had the keys in his pocket.

At one stage he was said to have ordered her to take off her clothes while threatening her with the knife and had sex with her.  

They had fallen asleep at 4am and when the woman woke up at 7am she saw a key in the kitchen door and ran for help to a neighbour’s house.

The court heard that the neighbour described the woman as being  “quivering and hysterical” and saying that she’d been raped at knifepoint.

The trial continues.