UPDATE: Santos rape trial in Chichester

Santos when he previously appeared in court in 2012 PICTURE BY EDDIE MITCHELL
Santos when he previously appeared in court in 2012 PICTURE BY EDDIE MITCHELL

THE alleged rape victim of Aggro Santos and his co-defendant Tyrelle Ritchie told a jury she had tried to block out the memory of the night she had sex with the reality TV star.

She appeared via a video link at Chichester Crown Court this afternoon (April 26).

During the morning the jury watched the video interview she gave to police on May 8, 2011, which was a Sunday. The alleged rape took place during the Friday evening at the Ship Hotel, in Chichester.

Today the jury heard Santos’ defence lawyer Ronald Jaffa and Ritchie’s defence lawyer Richard Furlong question the witness at length on what happened on the night of the incident.

The victim was aged 16 at the time of the alleged rape, when she attended the end of term ball at the University of Chichester.

She had told organisers and the people she accompanied she was in fact 19.

She drank alcohol at the event and along with other friends returned with Santos and Ritchie to the Ship Hotel, in North Street, where the pair were staying.

Once there, the jury was told the guests had to hand over their mobile phones to a man who was described in the police video as possibly being Santos’ ‘manager’.

The defence lawyers also questioned her on aspects which she had not originally mentioned in her police interview, but which she had later mentioned when Santos and Ritchie appeared at Chichester Crown Court in August last year.

In the police video from 2011, the witness said after the alleged rape took place in Santos’ hotel room, she had gone outside, where her friend had seen something was wrong and started crying.

Today, Mr Furlong said: “She decided you had been raped and she went rushing in and rushed up the stairs.”

The alleged victim replied: “She asked me what happened and I started crying.”

When he asked her about other differences between her evidence given in court and in the police interview, she said: “I tried blocking out several bits of it.”

When asked which bits she said: “It’s that night.”

The jury was told she had consensual sex with Santos earlier in the evening, however it was afterwards that the alleged rapes occurred.

Santos faces two charges of rape, one from this incident and another dating back to 2010 in Yeovil.

Ritchie is charged with one count related to the same night in Chichester with the same victim.

Both have pleaded not guilty to all charges. The case continues on Monday.

For a full report, see next week’s Observer (May 2).