Man denies inventing Nigel Evans rape claim

Nigel Evans Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans denies nine sex charges

A man who says he was raped by former deputy speaker Nigel Evans has denied lying to "save his conscience".

The complainant told Preston Crown Court he regretted his "cowardice" at allowing himself to end up in bed with the 56-year-old MP.

But he said the defence's suggestion that he had invented the story after agreeing to sex was "far-fetched".

Mr Evans denies one count of rape, two of indecent assault and six of sexual assault.

'Kissed downstairs'

The alleged rape is said to have taken place after the complainant attended a dinner party last year at Mr Evans' home in Pendleton, Lancashire, where he had agreed to stay overnight in a spare room.

Jurors have heard the man, in his early 20s, say he had not wanted or invited any sexual contact but got under the covers with Mr Evans after he was "escorted" to the MP's bedroom.

Mr Evans' account of events was that the pair kissed downstairs and that the man willingly went to bed with him where they had consensual sex.

On Friday, Peter Wright QC, asked the complainant: "Is it simply that, on reflection, you wish none of this had ever happened?"

The man replied: "Yes, I do wish none of this happened."

Mr Wright then suggested the man was trying to rationalise his conduct in a way that was consistent with his account to "save his conscience".

The man responded: "That's so far-fetched."

Mr Wright put it to him that he had woken up in Mr Evans' bed and felt regret at what had he had consented to.

The complainant said: "I regret my cowardice. I did feel angry, I did not feel responsible for Nigel's behaviour."

'Job promise'

The defence counsel then focused on how the complainant had relayed the events to others.

Mr Wright cited how the alleged victim had sent text messages to a friend saying "Help me" and another describing how he had been "dragged" into the bedroom.

The witness claimed he had been "saving face" and was "a bit dramatic" in tone, but denied being forced into the room.

Just over a month after the dinner party the complainant spoke to a police officer at the Palace of Westminster.

The QC highlighted a section of the man's statement which read: "The suspect followed him upstairs, pushing him into the room, saying 'Stay here'."

Mr Wright said: "Did you tell the officer that he pushed you into the room?"

The complainant replied: "I honestly don't know."

The barrister said: "Or is this for dramatic effect?"

The complainant replied: "I can't remember."

"Did you tell the officer he said 'Stay here'?" the QC countered.

The complainant said: "I can't remember... I have not got a perfect memory.

Mr Wright said: "The officer went on to say 'He was pushed on to the bed and promised the offer of a job after he left university'."

The complainant responded: "No, I did not say that."

The case has been adjourned until Monday.

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