Preston boxing champion Scott Fitzgerald 'raped woman while her children slept,' court hears

The alleged victim burst into tears when a lawyer representing Fitzgerald suggested she had really been the instigator of the sexual encounter.
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An alleged rape victim broke down as she told a court she is still haunted four years on by the memory of being abused by champion boxer Scott Fitzgerald.

The young mum claimed the Preston fighter forced himself on her in the bathroom of her home after an all-night drinking session in April 2020 despite repeatedly telling him to stop.

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But she burst into tears when a lawyer representing Fitzgerald suggested she had really been the instigator of the sexual encounter by giving him the come-on.

The young mum claimed the Scott Fitzgerald forced himself on her in the bathroom of her home The young mum claimed the Scott Fitzgerald forced himself on her in the bathroom of her home
The young mum claimed the Scott Fitzgerald forced himself on her in the bathroom of her home

And when pressed about details of the incident the mother, giving evidence from behind a screen in the city’s Crown Court, angrily denied the boxer’s version of events, saying: “It’s been four years. All I can remember is what happened in that bathroom because it will never leave my head.”

Fitzgerald, 32, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of raping the woman after a small party at a house in the Ashton area of Preston.

He claims the sex was consensual after the two were left alone for a short time while another man went out to buy more cocaine at around 6:30 to 7am.

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Barrister Richard Haworth, prosecuting, said Fitzgerald had been one of four men at the house as the get-together continued until early the following day, despite the woman’s children being asleep upstairs.

Eventually there were only two men and the alleged victim. It was claimed Fitzgerald gave the other man £40 to go out and buy cocaine, a trip that would have taken him about 20 minutes.

“It was during that period of time that (the Crown says) the defendant raped (her), when the two of them were the only adults in the house,” alleged Mr Haworth.

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In a video interview with police, the woman said she was in the kitchen with Fitzgerald when he started talking about sex and asking her for sex. He exposed himself and told her to touch him, which she refused.

In an attempt to remove herself from the situation she said she went upstairs to use the toilet and was only partway through when Fitzgerald followed her upstairs and went into the bathroom. She hastily tried to pull up her tights, but he forced her over the washbasin and then the bath to rape her.

When she managed to free herself she said Fitzgerald suddenly said: “Oh my God, I’m sorry.” She went downstairs and he followed her apologising, saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

But, claimed the woman, before he left the house he told her if she said anything no-one would believe her, “it was her word against his.”

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The woman did not say anything when the other man returned from buying cocaine because she feared things might turn violent. But later she offloaded to her sister and then her mother.

Police were called and when arrested Fitzgerald admitted sex had taken place, but that it had been consensual with her agreement.

“He went further than that,” said Mr Haworth. “He said she was the instigator. She made all the running, so to speak.”

In a video interview with police, played to the jury, the woman said that once the other man had left the house Fitzpatrick had asked her to touch him and said he wanted intercourse with her.

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“I said ‘No’,” she said. “He just continued to say he wanted to have sex with me and I said ‘No’. I said I was going to the toilet and as I was sat on the toilet I could hear him coming upstairs.”

At that point, as she related what she said had happened in the bathroom, she broke down in tears.

She said Fitzgerald’s demeanour had dramatically changed once the other man had left the house on his drugs errand. “He wasn’t himself,” she said. “He was not the same person.

“I had been alone with him before for five or 10 minutes and he has always been chilled, just making normal conversation. But (this time) he started talking about sex, sex, sex. He just kept on asking.

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“I didn’t feel in danger, but I felt intimidated. He kept talking about sex. (After) he told me ‘remember, it’s my word against yours.”

The woman admitted that she had been the one who messaged Fitzgerald inviting him to go round to the house that night after seeing some posts on social media. They had all taken cocaine and drunk alcohol.

Appearing in person in court, curtained off from the dock and the public and press areas, the woman was cross-examined by Fitzgerald’s barrister Sharon Watson. She asked her why she had messaged the boxer during the night to invite him over.

“I messaged him to see if he was OK. I had tried to call him, I made a number of attempts to speak to him on the phone.”

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She said she was only passing on a message from another of the men at the get-together, it hadn’t been her suggestion. Fitzgerald arrived between 2am and 3am and the woman said “I can remember giving him a hug. I just said ‘hi.’ We all took cocaine in the kitchen – I should never have done it.”

Asked why she hadn’t called the police when the alleged assault happened she said: “I was scared.”

She denied a suggestion by Ms Watson that when the man was leaving to buy the cocaine he had said: “I’ll leave you two to get at it.” The woman said: “No, he would never say anything like that, never.”

She said Fitzgerald “completely changed” when the man left the house. Asked if it had been “almost a Jekyll and Hide change” she said “Yes.”

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She added that he was making her feel “very, very uncomfortable.” When he asked for sex she had told him: “It’s not happening.” “I told him several times ‘No.’”

She was asked why she hadn’t locked the bathroom door when she had fled upstairs to get away from the situation with Fitzgerald. “I didn’t have a lock on the bathroom door at that time. I never needed one.”

The woman then reacted angrily to a suggestion that she had stroked him through his trousers and also rubbed her bottom against his groin area before going upstairs. “Absolutely not,” she stormed. “It’s utter lies.”

She claimed she had tried to push him away in the bathroom, pleading “please stop.” “I couldn’t stop it. I told him ‘No’ more than once.”

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“Did you take hold of him and pull him closer to you?” asked Ms Watson. “No. I said it loud to get him off me. The only thing I wanted to do was to get away. All I could recall is asking ‘Why would you do that to me?’”

The woman was also asked why, before she handed over her mobile phone to the police after making a complaint, she had deleted the messages she had sent Fitzgerald that night inviting him round.

“Because I wasn’t ready to go on my phone to message my Mum or my sister and see his name.

“Who would want to see his picture every time you go on your phone? All I can see in my head is what happened in that bathroom.”