The trial of Hoole man Nicholas Crawshaw continued today (February 18) at Warrington Crown Court. The 23-year-old is accused of 16 sex offences, including 10 rapes, against seven victims between 2010 and 2015. Crawshaw denies all of the charges against him. Chronicle reporter Mike Fuller provided the following updates from today's proceedings.
Thank you for following our live updates from the trial of Nicholas Crawshaw at Warrington Crown Court today. We will resume our live coverage of the hearing tomorrow morning.
Jury sent home
Judge Tina Landale has sent the jury home for the day. The trial will resume tomorrow morning.
The prosecution is now reading out the results of the complainant’s medical examination done the day after the alleged incident. She was found to have a small graze on her elbow and a bruise on her inner thigh. Mr Mills said: “The examination was found to neither refute or support the allegations.”
Taxi driver's account
Mr Mills is reading out another statement from a taxi driver who picked up a man who fits Crawshaw’s description on the morning after. He says he recalls a conversation with the man who said he was in a ‘whole load of trouble’ because a man thought he had raped his girlfriend, but he ‘didn’t do it’.
Friend's witness statement
Mr Mills is reading out a witness statement from a friend who went out with the complainant that night. She said she lost the alleged victim in the queue for Rosie’s. She said she texted her a few times through the night asking if she was OK. She did not get a reply until 7.45am. The friend said: “She seemed OK at first but after about 30 minutes it became clear something had happened with a boy I know in passing, Nicholas Crawshaw.”
'She was never the same'
Prosecutor Simon Mills said: “What was the relationship like afterwards?” The witness said: “It was hard. I loved her but she was never the same afterwards. The paranoia got worse. It just got harder and harder.” The court will now take another short break.
Cross examination concludes
Mr Le Brocq asks why he didn’t call the police when he first got the texts. The witness said: “I didn’t know the full story, I didn’t know which Nick she was talking about so how could I tell the police.” The cross examination has concluded.
Witness feared the worst
Mr Le Brocq said: “You thought she was cheating on you didn’t you?” The witness replied: “I don’t know I just feared the worst like I always do.”
Early morning texts woke witness up
Mr Le Brocq asked what he meant by his comment. The witness said: “Are you serious? I’m not sure. The texts woke me up and I didn’t know what was going on.” He adds he asked where she was three seconds later.
'Are you for real?'
After the complainant texted her then boyfriend at 3:13am saying “I’ve been made to do it with Nick”, he replied “are you for real?”
'She was annoyed at you'
Mr Le Brocq said: “She went out and got with someone else because was annoyed at you.” The witness replied: “Why would she do that. Why would she take it upon herself to do that?” Mr Le Brocq said: “Well she got quite drunk that night didn’t she. People lose their inhibitions when they are drunk.”
Mr Le Brocq is referring to the text exchanges between the witness, who is a relative of another alleged victim in the case, and the complainant on the day of the alleged offence. Mr Le Brocq said: “Do you remember having quite a row with her about going out with your mates?” The witness replied: “I wouldn’t say it was a massive row, more bickering.”
Boyfriend went to Crawshaw house
The witness said he met up with the complainant on the morning after. Initially she said she stayed at a friend’s house, but eventually broke down and said she had stayed at Nick’s house. The former boyfriend said he drove to Crawshaw’s house, but his mother answered the door and said he had his own place now. The witness said he got a Facebook message from Crawshaw saying ‘call me, mate’. But he said to the defendant ‘don’t speak to me’. The police were informed of the allegation of rape from the complainant at this point.
Complainant's boyfriend gives evidence
The trial has resumed. The next witness is the former boyfriend of the complainant, who was in a relationship at the time of the alleged incident. The pair broke up in December 2015.
Warrington Crown Court is currently dealing with other matters so there is a delay to the resumption of the Nicholas Crawshaw trial following the lunch break.
The court has now broken for lunch and will resume at 2.15pm
'I didn't want to see his face'
Prosecutor Simon Mills is now re-examining the witness. He asks: “Just one question from me about the selfies. Why didn’t you want to look at them?” The alleged victim replies: “Because I didn’t want to see his face.”
Gave Crawshaw a hug
Mr Le Brocq, defending: “When the taxi arrived in the morning you gave Nick Crawshaw a hug and made him promise not to tell your boyfriend didn’t you?” The complainant says “No.”
Face time call
Mr Le Brocq reveals Crawshaw and the complainant face timed, a type of video phone call, and says the alleged victim looked ‘happy’ during the call, Mr Le Brocq claimed.
Cross examination resumes
The cross examination has resumed. Mr Le Brocq said: “You were showing affection to Nick Crawshaw in these pictures weren’t you? Why would you do that when you say he kept you there overnight and made you do things you didn’t want to do?” The complainant said it was ‘just a picture’.
Photos cause distress to witness
The alleged victim does not want to look at the photos. Judge Landale calls for another break to allow the pictures to be edited so the complainant does not have to see Crawshaw’s face in them.
Jury sees selfies
The jury are being shown selfies taken by the complainant and Crawshaw the following morning. Mr Le Brocq said: “These were taken with your agreement weren’t they?” The alleged victim says she can’t ‘particularly remember’ the pictures being taken.
'Drunken night out'
Mr Le Brocq is reading out a series of texts from the alleged victim’s boyfriend. The complainant did not reply until the morning when she initially said to him she had stayed at a friend’s house. After 10am she sent to him ‘please be ok baby I love you so much its all my fault’. Mr Le Brocq said: “You had a drunken night out after having a fight with your boyfriend. Spent the night at Nick Crawshaw’s and you simply regretted it.”
Complainant texted boyfriend
Mr Le Brocq is reading out text messages. He reads texts sent from the complainant’s phone to her boyfriend after 3am. They say “I’ve been forced to do it with Nick” and “He’s so forceful”. Mr Le Brocq said: “Were you setting up your excuse for the next day when your boyfriend would find out?” The alleged victim says no.
Court about to resume
All parties are now returning to the courtroom. Mr Le Brocq said before the break that Crawshaw and the complainant tried and failed to have consensual sex, laughed about it and then took some more cocaine. The alleged victim said this was not true.
Judge orders a break
Judge Tina Landale has called for a short break to allow the victim to compose herself.
In Crawshaw's bedroom
When the two of them got to Crawshaw’s house they went up to his bedroom and took cocaine, the court heard. Mr Le Brocq suggests they started kissing each other and this was consensual. He then says the pair tried to have sex, but the 23-year-old was having difficulty. The complainant said the sex went on for five minutes and that she only went along with it because she was scared. Mr Le Brocq said: “The reason you can’t remember this properly is because you are trying to remember something that didn’t happen.”
Mr Le Brocq said: “You actually approached Nick Crawshaw in Rosie’s that night because you thought he could get you some cocaine didn’t you? And when he said he couldn’t get you any in the club because of security that was the reason you went back to his house.” The complainant says she can’t remember, but accepts that could have been the reason.
One night stand
Mr Le Brocq said: “You were pretty hacked off at him weren’t you? I’m going to suggest to you. Did you at some point decide that night you were going to have a one night stand to get back at him?” The alleged victim said: “No not at all.”
'Fighting through the day'
Mr Le Brocq is reading through texts sent between the complainant and her boyfriend at the time on the day of the alleged incident.
He says they had been fighting through the day. They include the alleged victim saying ‘hope you are happy you’ve got rid of me now. I’m still in Chester’. She says she was annoyed because he had chosen to go out with his friends.