A CONVICTED rapist accused of sex attacks on two vulnerable strangers less than a year apart told a court yesterday he was an innocent man.
Anthony Curran is alleged to have raped a woman after sneaking in through an unlocked door as she lay in bed while her partner was asleep downstairs.
He is also accused of raping another woman on wasteland eight months later after offering to walk her home when they met outside a seafront nightclub.
Prosecutors allege Curran is a sexual predator who deliberately targeted the two women to use force against them – motivated by rape not sex.
But Curran said he had never been inside the house in Cullercoats, North Tyneside where the first attack took place in December 2007 and he claimed the woman he was caught on CCTV camera talking to outside Deep in neighbouring Whitley Bay was a liar who had consented to sex.
Giving evidence at Newcastle Crown Court, Curran said he moved to Tyneside to start a new life after serving a four-year jail term imposed in 2002 after he was convicted of a rape he did not commit.
He said he had initially lived with his mother, found work, found a girlfriend and later moved in with her, continuing to socialise in Whitley Bay.
He said he had never been inside the house in Cullercoats where he is alleged to have staged the first attack and as far as he was aware he had never met the occupants.
And he told the jury he could not explain how two hairs bearing his DNA profile had been found on bedding recovered from the scene of the crime – unless unknown to him he had come into contact with the woman and her partner while socialising in the area.
Curran described how on August 2 last year he had been to a family party with his pregnant partner , and after returning to their home in Ridley Avenue, Wallsend, decided in the early hours of the morning to drive to Whitley Bay despite the fact she did not want him to go.
He said he ended up at Deep nightclub and, when the premises closed, began talking to a woman after she either asked for a cigarette or he offered her one and after spending time chatting outside he had offered to walk her home.
Curran said both he and the woman were drunk, she had put her arm in his, they had chatted and kissed as they walked along and they had both gone down some steps to an area of wasteland because they both needed to urinate. He claimed the woman had made a suggestive comment to him which he had laughed off and she had then kissed him and they had ended up having consensual sex on the ground. He said afterwards they had chatted and she had seemed “fine” to him. “I offered to walk her the rest of the way home but she said no, her boyfriend would kick off with her,” he told the jury.
He denied he had inflicted the scratches and bruising and a scratch at the top of her thigh which were found on the woman when she was later examined by a police doctor.
Curran said he accepted when he was arrested he had lied about his movements, claiming it was because he did not want his girlfriend to be told by police he had cheated on her with a stranger and that he had wanted to tell her himself.
He denied prosecutor Penny Moreland’s claim he had targeted the woman because she was a slight drunk woman who was obviously going to make her way home alone. He also rejected her claim that what excited him was the commission of rape. The trial continues today.