A rape victim who was attacked as she made her way home from work preserved vital evidence after watching a 1990 plot of Eastenders, a court heard.
Prosecutors claim the cashier - who was dragged into a disused railway yard and brutally attacked - made detailed notes after seeing the soap’s story line involving bar owner James Willmott-Brown’s attack on Kathy Beale in the BBC drama.
Doorman Salvador Orozco is accused of sexually assaulting the woman on May 17, 1990, one year before returning back to his native USA.
The woman, who was 20 at the time of the alleged assault and had been married for just six months, told the court: “Kathy had been raped by Willmott-Brown and I remember watching the story.
“I knew I had not to have a shower or bath and I knew it was important to remember as much as I could.”
Orozco, previously of Keswick Street, Bensham, Gateshead, was extradited from Hawaii earlier this year after a specialist team executed a warrant at his home, a jury was told.
Prosecutors claim he approached the woman at Gateshead Metro Station before brutally assaulting her in wasteland off Askew Road, in Gateshead. The 49-year-old is said to have faked a Chinese accent and told the woman: “My name’s Sushi. It’s Japanese.” Following the assault he is said to have covered his victim in her own coat and told her to wait ten minutes before contacting the “boys in blue”.
Gavin Doig, prosecuting, said: “The victim was first shocked, then terrified. She began to cry, to panic and to sob. The man told her he was going to make love to her, that she would like it. She was begging him not to hurt her, not to kill her.”
The woman’s injuries were so severe that she vomited during a police interview and could not be examined by forensic scientists, it was said.
Advances in forensic science sparked a cold case review of the rape in 2002, Newcastle Crown Court was told. Mr Doig said DNA recovered at the scene was checked against the national DNA database where a match was discovered with Orozco’s two children.
Scientific conclusions found that “the prospect of anyone other than the defendant having the DNA found at the time of the crime was one in a billion”, Mr Doig said. He told the jury: “In short, it was [Orozco] who left it there.” Orozco has admitted having sex with the woman but claims he lived a “promiscuous lifestyle” and that the sex was consensual.
Orozco denies rape, attempted buggery and indecent assault. The trial continues.