Jury expected to retire to consider verdict in rape trial

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The trial of Michael Halford is taking place at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The jury in the trial of a Suffolk man accused of raping a woman at knifepoint and keeping  her prisoner during an ordeal lasting five hours is expected to retire to consider its verdicts on Wednesday ( February 16).

Before Ipswich Crown Court is Michael Halford, 33, who has denied raping the woman, false imprisoning her and assaulting her causing her actual bodily harm.

The court has heard that Halford, who was living in Haverhill, and the woman had met on a dating app.

It has been alleged that he became upset when the woman did not want to have sex with him.

He’d 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 he allegedly manhandled her causing bruises on her arm, thigh and chest and a small cut on her ear.

The woman had also allegedly discovered all the doors to the house were locked and that Halford had the keys in his pocket.

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At one stage he’d allegedly ordered her to take off her clothes while threatening her with the knife and had sex with her.  

 Giving evidence Halford claimed that he and the woman had consensual sex.

He denied locking her in the house and raping her at knifepoint.