The jury has retired in the trial of an ex-prisoner accused of abducting and raping a female jogger, holding her captive for nine hours on a secluded Chester footpath.
Peter Watton allegedly dragged the woman into bushes, threatened to hurt her family and told her he had a knife, before repeatedly raping her, after targeting her while she was running with her dog on Duke's Drive at 3pm on June 14 last year.
On day five of the trial at Chester Crown Court, Watton, of Henley Road, Lache - who has pleaded not guilty to rape and false imprisonment - listened from the dock as the jury was reminded the details of his victim's terrifying nine hour abduction and the horrifying moment she thought she was ‘going to die’.
The 37-year-old had only been released from prison for kidnapping teenagers and robbery from a house in Crewe back in 2009 for two days when he allegedly abducted and raped his victim eight times, before she ran for her life, scaling fences with her dog to get away from him.
Watton, who has maintained his innocence throughout the trial, claims he had consensual sex with the stranger who he met while sheltering from the rain while walking back from checking out the River Dee for fishing conditions.
He says he was ‘outraged’ at the accusations, which he agreed sounded 'terrifying' but said he couldn't understand why she had 'made it up'.
Summing up the case Honorary Recorder of Chester, Judge Elgan Edwards, reminded the jury of the seriousness of the case, rereading the moment the 44-year-old woman thought she was going to be killed as she was led to a third scene and was pushed in the direction of the banks of the Dee.
He described how, in her evidence, she had been led to more secluded parts of the woodland, walked with her hands tied-up and how she sat with him between the rapes trying to build a rapport with him in the hope he would spare her life.
She ran for her life around nine hours after being dragged into the woodland, pulling her attacker's trousers down around his ankles while he was raping her so he would trip-up if he tried to chase her.
He recalled how the victim ran to the first lights she could see, seeking refuge in a house at Berkley Drive in Handbridge. She said she "felt awful" as she "could see there was a child or a teenager" in the house. She told the owner of the house she had been abducted and raped and had thought she was going to die.
Watton denies eight counts of rape, two counts of assault by penetration with an object, one count of false imprisonment and one count of possession of a kitchen knife.
Judge Edwards reminded the jury how in 1999 Watton was jailed for the attempted kidnap of a woman at a roadside in Crewe, after trying to abduct her in her car while impersonating a plain clothes police officer.
Judge Edwards sent the jury of nine women and three men out to begin their deliberations at noon on Friday (January 10), saying: “It's up to you.”