Security guard denies sex assault

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A woman claims she was raped and sexually assaulted by a security guard in Preston city centre when she went for a cigarette break from work.

Robert Murray, 34, a former security worker in the St John’s Shopping Centre, denies the charges at Preston Crown Court.

Giving evidence by video-link, the woman told the court she met Murray the day before the alleged attack after meeting a friend for coffee after work.

As the two women walked towards the bus station to make their way home they met Murray, who was dressed in a security uniform.

The court heard Murray began to flirt with the woman’s friend but after a brief chat the two women carried on their way home.

However, the following day, Murray turned up where his alleged victim worked, asking for her friend’s phone number and saying he would set her up on a date if she gave him the information.

She said: “I told him ‘I can’t give you her number without her permission but I can ask her if she’s interested. I don’t want to go on a date though. I’ve got a boyfriend.’”

Later that day, the woman claims Murray returned to her workplace and asked her to go for a cigarette with him.

She told a colleague she was taking a break and went outside for a walk with Murray.

As they walked, the security guard continued to ask about the woman’s friend, despite the woman telling him repeatedly her friend was not interested.

The court heard he then asked her to “go with him” but when she said she didn’t want to as she had a boyfriend he told her it would just be “a bit of fun.”

The pair walked around the back of the bingo hall in Tithebarn Street, but when the woman told him again she did not want to do what he wanted, telling him “I’m not that kind of person”, Murray forced himself on her and raped and sexually assaulted her, the jury was told.

Alex Leach, prosecuting, said: “When she wouldn’t do what he wanted her to do voluntarily, he forced her.”

The woman broke free and her friend told her to report the matter to the police.

Murray, of Walpole Avenue, Wigan, denies two counts of sexual assault and one count of rape.