Newton Abbot pub landlord denies rape claims
A PUB landlord from Newton Abbot accused of raping a woman as she lay semi-conscious on his bathroom floor has told a court he never had sex with her.
It is alleged Michael Rowland, 48, the licensee of the Railway Inn in Queen Street, then took the woman to his bed and continued the assault before stopping to play a video game called 'Guitar Hero'.
He later collapsed on the floor and was taken to hospital, claiming his drink had been spiked with Rohypnol.
Rowland denies two counts of rape and three counts of sexually assaulting the woman.
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Exeter Crown Court was told on the first day of his trial that it was an 'odd case'.
Mr Sean Brunton, prosecutor, said the woman had been in Rowland's home and began to feel unwell and lay down on the bathroom floor near the lavatory.
He said: "She started to feel very bad, almost out of it. Feeling like she was dead."
He said the defendant then started to pull her trousers down and began the sexual assault while she was on the floor.
She next remembered being on his bed on top of the duvet and the sexual assault continuing.
He then played Guitar Hero and returned to talk to the alleged victim who asked him what on earth he had done, said Mr Brunton.
"He turned the shower on and came back with her clothes completely wet," he added.
"Then the defendant seems to collapse on the floor."
The woman called an ambulance thinking 'he must have taken an overdose'.
At the hospital doctors found "nothing much the wrong with him," said the prosecutor.
"The defendant was clearly completely disgusted with himself for what he had done referring to it as rape in a text and apologising to her," he added.
Texts record Rowland saying 'I really am so sorry' and 'I raped you'. In her replies the victim tells him 'not to use that term'. "You just took advantage," the text says.
The allegations of rape came months later when the alleged victim told a friend who spoke to Rowland who then admitted 'rape'.
Rowland later told police that his recollection of events was hazy but his use of the word 'rape' was different from the legal one.
Mr Brunton told the jury it 'did not really matter what they said' to each other because it was up to the jury to decide whether it was rape.
Giving evidence Rowland denied having sex with the alleged victim on the night.
He claimed she was drunk and he helped to undress her. He said they engaged in consensual sexual activity but not full sex.
The trial continues.