Preston rape trial jury is told "consent and capacity is the issue" in case of two men accused of exploiting young women

A man supplied a girl and young women with drugs and vodka before spiking them and raping them, a jury has been told.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 3:33 pm

Barrister Mike Laverey is summing up prosecution evidence in the case of two men accused of exploiting and raping the alleged victims in Preston.

Club DJ Amos O'Cheng, 51, of Winckley Square, Preston, and his co-defendant Dickson Ngaunde, 37, of Stanford Avenue, Brighton, Sussex, are standing trial at Preston Crown Court over alleged sexual exploitation crimes and the sexual abuse of women and girls in Preston.

O’Cheng denies three counts of raping a child, two of raping a woman, three of facilitating travel with a view to exploitation, false imprisonment, and four drugs charges relating to five complainants, while Ngaunde is accused of raping a woman, false imprisonment and facilitating travel with a view to exploitation.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Crown Court

He told jurors they may have "preconceived ideas about a rapist in balaclava and a woman fighting and screaming", but added: "We are in the real world and consent is the issue here, consent and capacity. So any preconceived ideas, about what a rape victim is or how they react or how they complain - cast it aside.

"We have five senses, we ask you to apply a sixth one, common sense."

The court heard O'Cheng, who did not tell the women his true age, used cars rented in London, and used a pseudonym of 'Max' to go "under the radar" .

The alleged offences include picking up two vulnerable girls in care in a car, grooming them by supplying drugs and alcohol, and having sex with them at his Preston flat.

O'Cheng says the girls consented and he believed they were older, but the prosecution say his victims cannot have consented as they had been incapacitated and one was a child aged 14.

In evidence the complainants had described feeling they had been spiked, with one 16-year-old girl saying: " My eyes were blurry. I sat on the bed and the next thing I woke up naked."

The court previously heard Ngaunde had sex with a teenager who had been picked up from a nightclub in Eastbourne, east Sussex and driven 300 miles to Preston - an event that allegedly happened around the same time he had conceived a baby with his partner.

Mr Laverey added: "This isn't a court of disapproval or morals of people smoking cocaine, cannabis drinking too much vodka and coke, or even cheating on your partner when you're conceiving a child together.

"This case isn't about objectifying young women treating them as objects, not as human beings

"It's not about all those things. It's about consent and capacity to consent. It's about having sexual intercourse with girls who have no capacity to consent.

"Just because somebody's drunk doesn't mean somebody else can do what they want. If you don't have the capacity to say yes it isn't consent."

(proceeding)

The Lancashire Post is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Lancashire news and information online, you can subscribe here.