Rape trial speedway star Michael Lee 'abusive'

Michael Lee Image copyright Jeff Higgot
Image caption Michael Lee was co-promoter of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers and a former speedway world champion

A woman was raped by a "controlling and verbally abusive" former speedway world champion, a court has heard.

Michael Lee, 55, of Worlington, Suffolk, denies raping and assaulting one woman and two sexual assaults against another between 2011 and 2012.

Mr Lee, a former co-promoter of the Mildenhall Fen Tigers speedway team, told police that the sex was consensual, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The trial, adjourned until Tuesday, is expected to last about 10 days.

Opening the case, prosecutor Charlie Myatt told jurors Mr Lee was "controlling and verbally abusive" towards one of his alleged victims.

Cannabis offences

During his racing career, he was crowned speedway individual world champion in 1980 and rode for several teams including King's Lynn, Poole and Boston.

The prosecution claimed the woman said she was assaulted in a bathroom and injured her hand after being pushed over a toilet.

She also said the defendant threatened to put a plastic bag over her head.

Mr Lee told police the woman punched the wall herself and that he did not assault her nor put a bag over her.

The alleged sexual assaults are said to have taken place at a speedway party at a pub.

Mr Lee also told police they were "friendly squeezes on the bottom" and not sexual, the prosecution said.

The prosecution also told the jury about Mr Lee's convictions for possession, production and supply of cannabis in the 1990s.

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