The trial of Hoole man Nicholas Crawshaw gets under way today (October 4) at Warrington Crown Court. The 23-year-old is accused of 11 sex offences, including six rapes. Crawshaw denies all of the charges against him. Chronicle reporter Mike Fuller will be providing updates from today's opening proceedings.

Day one of the retrial draws to a close

This concludes our updates from Warrington Crown Court today. The trial continues and will resume on Wednesday morning at 10am.

Thank you for following this live blog.

'I saw how much it affected my friend'

Under cross-examination, Mr le Brocq suggests the witness is ‘helping’ her friend’s allegation along with false evidence of her own.

She said: “I know I was in his house on that day and I saw how much it affected my friend.”

But in re-examination, Mr Mills asks if the witness had any reason to come to court six years after the alleged incident to lie.

She said: “I would certainly not be putting myself in this position if I had something to lie about.”

This concludes her evidence.

Complainant's friend takes the stand

The next witness is the complainant’s friend, who she says was with her when she went to Crawshaw’s house.

The witness is speaking about the alleged sex assault at Crawshaw’s house, and the court has heard she was downstairs at the time.


She said: “After (the complainant) came back after being upstairs with Nick there was something definitely up with her.

“She was asking to leave, she looked upset.

“After we got back to my house she was crying and said Nick had been forceful with her, I was just comforting her.”

Complainant says she has no reason to tell lies

Mr Mills is now re-examining the complainant for the prosecution.

He says: “It’s been put to you that this incident never happened. Would you have any reason to come to come to court and tell lies about Nick Crawshaw in 2016?”

She says no. This concludes her evidence.

'I didn’t think he would do something like that in school'

Regarding the second incident, Mr le Brocq says it ‘essentially happened in a public place’ where any number of pupils or teachers could have come across them.

He said: “Bearing in mind what you say happened at his house, surely the next time you saw him you would run a mile?”

The complainant said: “I just didn’t think he would do something like that in school.”

Defence suggests Crawshaw is 'easy target' for allegations

Mr le Brocq says Crawshaw was an easy target for the allegations because of his reputation.

He asks why neither the complainant nor her friend went to the police at the time.

She said: “We were both scared. We were young.”

The defence suggests it is because they knew the allegations were false, which is denied by the complainant.

Complainant denies spreading false rumours

Proceedings have resumed, as Crawshaw’s defence barrister Mark le Brocq begins cross-examining the complainant.

Mr le Brocq said: “At the time in the school there were lots of rumours flying around about Nick Crawshaw and his conduct with women weren’t there? You were one of the people, along with your friend who is also a complainant, who were responsible those false rumours weren’t you?”

The witness denies this.

Mr le Brocq said: “None of these allegations have any truth to them do they?”

The alleged victim says that’s ‘not true’.

Short break for screen to be put up

The complainant’s video interview has now finished.

There will be a short break while preparations are made for her to give evidence in the courtroom from behind a screen.

No contact between complainant and Crawshaw since then

Since the alleged incidents, the complainant says she has not had any interaction with Crawshaw.

She adds she has seen him on a few nights out in Chester, but he just gives her a ‘dirty look’.

'I couldn’t believe he thought he could do it again'

Speaking about the second alleged assault at their school, the complainant said: “I remember feeling a bit sick because of what had happened in his house. I thought ‘is he kidding? We are in school’.

“I couldn’t believe he thought he could do it again even though the first time I was so adamant I wasn’t interested.”

She says she remembers being able to leave because this time Crawshaw was not on top of her.

First and second complainants are friends

The complainant was asked in her police interview if she knew what was happening at the time.

She said: “No, at the time it was all new to me. I was scared because he was so much older. He kept persisting saying that I was alright with him and I wasn’t going to get hurt or anything. It was probably me saying I was going to shout for my friend which made him stop.

“After we left Nick’s house with my friend I stayed quiet for a few minutes. I was in shock. I said you aren’t going to believe what’s just happened upstairs. I was crying and shaking. I was scared she wouldn’t believe me.”


Soon after the alleged incident she told another friend, who is the second complainant in the case, the court hears.

'Embarrassed'

Of the first alleged incident, the woman says she felt ‘embarrassed’ because she ‘didn’t want it to look like I was scared’.

She said: “I was making excuses I need to leave, but he pulled his pants down and forced himself on top of me.

“After we left the house I told my friend what had happened and she could not believe it.”

Breakdown of the charges

Here’s a reminder of what the 11 charges are that Crawshaw is facing.


Count 1: Sexual assault of a girl under the age of 16 between January and May 2010. Relates to first complainant.
Count 2: Sexual assault of a girl under the age of 16 between January and May 2010. Relates to first complainant.
Count 3: Rape of a girl under the age of 16 between January and May 2010. Relates to second complainant.
Count 4: Rape of a girl under the age of 16 in April 2010. Relates to third complainant.
Count 5: Sexual assault between July and August 2010. Relates to fourth complainant.
Count 6: Rape of a woman between July and August 2010. Relates to fifth complainant.
Count 7: Rape of a woman between June 2010 and September 2011. Relates to sixth complainant.
Count 8: Assault by penetration in March or April 2012. Relates to seventh complainant.
Count 9: Assault by penetration in March or April 2012. Relates to seventh complainant.
Count 10: Rape of a woman in March or April 2012. Relates to seventh complainant.
Count 11: Rape of a woman in July 2012. Relates to eighth complainant.

Second alleged assault

The complainant is now talking about the second alleged sex assault.


She said: “There was another time when I was in my PE kit at school. I walked past Nick on the stairs, I think he was on a free lesson.
“I was still only young at the time so I sat down next to him and we started talking.
“He got very forward again and put his hand on my leg before moving it up towards my knickers.
“It was quite clear I was a bit panicky.”

'I was scared'

The complainant said: “He invited me upstairs. I thought he wanted to comfort me at the time and thought nothing of it.
“Once we were in his room it escalated quite quickly. He was very forceful towards me.
“He was groping me and he pushed me on to the bed. I was scared. He took his jeans down and was pressing down on me still.
“Nick was assuring me I was safe, but I persisted I wanted to go back downstairs.”

The alleged victim added: “I wanted to leave, but it was a while before he let me go. He got really angry and slammed the door open.
“I ran downstairs to my friend and said I wanted to leave. I was quite shaken up.”

Evidence gets underway

The first complainant claims Crawshaw sexually assaulted her twice between January and May 2010, first in his bedroom and later at the Chester high school they both attended.

She says she had met her friend because she was upset after recently breaking up with her boyfriend.

Crawshaw met them on a bench in Boughton and invited them back to his house because it was raining, the court heard.

Court back in session

Crawshaw and the jury are back in the courtroom at Warrington Crown Court after the break for lunch.
We are due to hear evidence from the first complainant in the case. First through her police interview and then through examination by counsel.

Court breaking for lunch

Mr Mills has finished giving his opening summary of the prosecution evidence. The court will now break for lunch until 1.45pm.

Prosecution suggests a pattern of behaviour

Two of the new complainants in the case came forward after becoming aware that Crawshaw was on trial for similar offences.
Mr Mills says their claims show a similar pattern of behaviour to the reports from the other alleged victims.

'Extraordinary coincidences'

Mr Mills says Crawshaw’s defence is that the similarities between the allegations mean it would have to be an ‘extraordinary series of coincidences’.

Cruise nightclub

The final count relates to the eighth alleged victim. She claims Crawshaw raped her in the toilet of Cruise nightclub on a night in July 2012. The defendant denies ever being in the club on the night in question.

Second Grosvenor Park claim

One count of rape and two counts of assault by penetration relate to the seventh complainant on a date between February 28 and May 1, 2012. She alleges they all relate to one evening in Grosvenor Park. Crawshaw denies it ever happened.

Mutual friend's house

The sixth complainant has alleged Crawshaw raped her at a mutual friend’s house between June 22, 2010, and September 30, 2011. Crawshaw’s defence will be they did have consensual sex, but he stopped because it was ‘uncomfortable’.

Sex was consensual

The fifth alleged victim in the case claims the defendant raped her at his house between July 1 and September 1, 2010 when she was underage. Crawshaw says they did have sexual contact which was consensual and she was of a legal age at the time.

"Shoved hand down trousers"

The fourth complainant says Crawshaw sexually assaulted her at a friend’s gathering by shoving her hand down his trousers between July 1 and September 1, 2010. The 23-year-old again says this has been made up.

Grosvenor Park rape claim

The third alleged victim claims Crawshaw raped her in Grosvenor Park on an occasion between April 1 and May 1, 2010. He again claims the incident has been fabricated.

Alleged alleyway attack

The second complainant says Crawshaw raped her in an alleyway during the same time period when she was underage. The defendant says this incident never happened.

2010 accusations

These charges come from January 1 to May 31, 2010. Crawshaw says he does not even know her.

First complainant

Two counts of sexual assault relate to the first complainant in the case. She was under age at the time of the alleged incidents and claims Crawshaw touched her on separate occasions at his home and at a school in Chester.

Accused are lying, claims defendant

Mr Mills said: “He is saying all eight women have chosen to tell lies about him.”