The trial of Hoole man Nicholas Crawshaw continues today (Wednesday, February 23) 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 is providing updates from today's proceedings.
We are now bringing our live coverage of the Crawshaw trial to an end for the day. We will resume live updates from the case tomorrow morning.
Asked for cocaine
Crawshaw is now talking about the sixth complainant. He said he did not know her very well. He said she approached him in Rosie’s and asked if he could get her any cocaine. Crawshaw said they went back to his house because he did not want to give her the drugs in the club because of the security. He said they kissed in the taxi ride to his house.
Mr Le Brocq is asking Crawshaw about allegations made by a woman who is not a complainant in the case. He admits that the woman and her friend came back to his house, but disputes their version of events. He says the kissing which happened was always consensual.
Texting from Turkey
Facebook messages showed Crawshaw and the complainant texted while he was in Turkey and this continued once he got back. Crawshaw initiated further online conversations with her and said he wanted to meet her again, but this never happened.
Crawshaw said he never had a sexual relationship with the fifth complainant. He does not know why she would make false allegations against him.
Crawshaw says the Facebook photograph which allegedly shows him in Cruise that night was taken on a date after he got back from Turkey. He said the banner he was holding had been left there.
Flying to Turkey
Crawshaw says he met the fifth complainant once or twice and they were Facebook friends. He said he was never in Cruise nightclub on the night of the alleged incident because he was flying to Turkey two days later. He said his mum was strict with him at this time and he decided he did not have enough money to go out. Crawshaw said he went to Turkey to go and work for his dad. The jury are being shown the defendant’s passport which has the stamp.
No strings attached
He said he was never in Grosvenor Park and the alleged rape never happened. When asked if he can give a reason why she would make false allegations against him, Crawshaw said she ‘might have wanted more, while I just wanted no strings attached’.
Crawshaw said he and the fourth complainant were once in a sexual relationship which was like ‘friends with benefits’.
Never had sex with complainant
Crawshaw said he only met the third complainant twice, once at a party and once in Rosie’s nightclub. He says he never had sexual intercourse with her. He says she may be making up the allegations because a relative of hers was the boyfriend of another complainant in the case.
Denies alleged incident
Crawshaw says he knew of the second complainant. But he denies the alleged incident ever happened. He does not know why she would make these kind of accusations against him.
Didn't know first complainant
Crawshaw says he did not know the first complainant and there is no truth to her allegations. He does not know any reason why they have accused him of something.
Mr Le Brocq asks if any of the allegations made against him are true. Crawshaw says no. He is sniffling and audibly emotional.
Mr Le Brocq is running through Crawshaw’s football career. He says he played for Chester City FC and then for Wrexham before he got a cruciate ligament injury. Crawshaw said he was in a difficult place at the time he told police he played for Manchester United, because his grandmother had just had a stroke.
Defence case opens
Mr Le Brocq is about to open the defence case. Crawshaw will be called to the witness box this afternoon. Crawshaw confirms his name and details. He said he came over to the UK from Uganda at the age of nine.
The prosecution is reading out the results of medical examinations done on the sixth and seventh complainants in the case. Neither test could refute or support the allegations. Mr Mills has closed the prosecution case. The court has broken for lunch.
Mr Mills read out a statement from the arresting officer the first time Crawshaw was detained by police. He said an enforcer had to be used to open a locked door into the room where Crawshaw was at the family home.
Other witness statements
The witness has finished giving evidence. Mr Mills is now reading through other witness statements.
Mr Le Brocq asks DS McFarlane if she could understand Crawshaw’s frustration about the investigation. She says she could not.
Another short break
There will be a short break before Mr Le Brocq cross examines the witness.
Connections between complainants
Mr Mills said Crawshaw had raised concerns about the connections between the complainants and asked if the police had looked into the links between the parties in the case. DS McFarlane said: “People have been very upfront about how they know each other in this case. We’ve never tried to hide this, people are connected.”
All lines of enquiry followed up
DS McFarlane was the investigating officer in relation to six of the seven complainants. She said she was aware of Crawshaw saying the police were not investigating his side of the story. DS McFarlane said she made sure she followed up all lines of enquiry because she knew it had been raised as an issue.
Mr Mills has called Detective Sergeant Lianne McFarlane to the stand.
Taking legal advice
Mark Le Brocq, defending, disputes that Crawshaw was being obstructive about his Facebook and says he was simply taking full legal advice.
A study in pink
Court is now dealing with a dispute in regard to the sixth complainant. A selfie photograph shows something pink. The defendant claims she was wearing pink knickers while the complainant says she was not wearing any underwear. DC Booth says he believes it is a pink bit of a zip on Crawshaw’s jacket.
Mr Mills has concluded going through the police interviews. The court will now take a short break.
Stopped sleeping around
Crawshaw was asked if he could tell the police about who could be spreading rumours about him. He said: “When I was younger I was a player and I slept with a lot of girls. But when I was with my ex I stopped sleeping around.”
Crawshaw doesn't trust police
Crawshaw told police: “Every time I’ve been interviewed I’ve told 100 percent the truth but you still come forward and charge me with something I’m not capable of doing.” Crawshaw said he did not trust the police and he never had.
Incident 'never happened'
Crawshaw denied each detail when the alleged victim’s account was put to him. He said the incident ‘never happened’.
Crawshaw said he heard a rumour was circulating that he made the complainant ‘do something she didn’t want to do, or that he had raped her’. He said he angrily messaged her on Facebook to ask why she was making things up about him. He said he deleted her on Facebook soon after.