Preston rape trial witnesses tell jurors they heard woman 'shouting' in city cul-de-sac

Two neighbours have told a jury how they heard a woman shouting on a Preston cul-de-sac, on the same day an alleged rape took place.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 4:13 pm

Quarashi Ahmed Mohammed Suliman, 21, of Osborne Street, Preston, denies raping a woman on February 1 last year.

The complainant cannot be identified for legal reasons.

It is alleged he attacked the woman after they caught a cab to the street in the early hours.

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Timothy Cox, who lives on the same street, said: "I was downstairs in the front room facing a computer screen, which is about a metre away from the window.

"I was roused by a conversation occurring outside the window, between 2am and 3am.

"I heard a male and female voice travelling towards me and subsequently going beyond my house

"I heard the female voice say 'no' firmly, clearly, distinctly, four times.

"There were gaps in the conversation where the male voice was saying something which I couldn't hear.

"The conversation was of sufficient interest for me to listen, to hear that and to think about opening the curtains or going outside, but it sounded like the young lady had it under control.

"The voices of both were raised.

"It was spirited and it wasn't just an answer to a question of 'no' - it sounded like they were being persuaded to try to do something."

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He said: "It just was very loud, the shouts going on.

"I was getting ready to go to sleep. At that point I heard a very loud discussion outside and shouting.

"I saw a man and a lady, what seemed to sound like an argument. I saw the man pulling the lady towards the back end of Osborne Street.

The court was told he heard the woman shouting at the man to 'let go' of her and looked out of his window.

He saw her 'showing restraint' and the man not letting her go, saying: 'I don't want to' and 'come on'.

He added: "It sounded aggressive."

However, he said after speaking to his wife they did not take further action, believing it to be an argument between a couple.

The witnesses saw police at a shared accommodation premises on the street the following day.

A Preston black cab driver also gave evidence about a fare he took from outside Yates Wine Lodge in Preston to Osborne Street.

He told the court he transported "a black man and white woman" at around 1am on February 1 to the street.

As he left he said he saw the man holding the woman by the arm.

Asked if he had any dashcam footage, he replied he did not, and told the court he thought Preston City Council should provide CCTV to all cab drivers.

Abdul Mahmoud, who lived in a shared house alongside Suliman, confirmed he knew he was from Sudan.

Asked if anything unusual happened in the evening in question, he said he heard noise downstairs - a female voice shouting - which woke him.

(proceeding)

*To report a sexual offence call police on 101, or tell someone you trust. You can speak to your GP an you can also self-refer to Preston's SAFE Centre, which can offer counselling and support, on 01772 523344.

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