The trial of Hoole man Nicholas Crawshaw continues today (Tuesday, March 1) 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
Court has finished for the day. Thank you for following today’s live updates. We will resume our live coverage in the morning.
Judge Landale decides to stop for today. She will finish her summary of the evidence tomorrow morning.
The jury is now hearing a summary of evidence in relation to claims made by the seventh complainant. She has alleged Crawshaw raped her a number of times in one night at his house after a night out at the Live Rooms in Chester in June 2015. A friend of hers slept downstairs during the alleged incidents. Judge Landale reads out both of their accounts.
Bedroom rape claim
Judge Landale reminds the jury about the sixth complainant. She was the first to come forward in the case and has claimed Crawshaw raped her in his bedroom after a night out in Chester in June 2015. The judge also reads out summaries of the accounts provided by other witnesses, including the complainant’s boyfriend at the time. Crawshaw admits she spent the night at his house, but says they went back to his to take cocaine and they tried and failed to have consensual sex because he could not get an erection. He believes she may have made up the allegations because she did not want her boyfriend to know she had been unfaithful.
There will be a short break before Judge Landale summarises the evidence surrounding the final two complainants.
Alleged rape in Cruise
Count eight relates to the fifth complainant. She has alleged Crawshaw raped her in the toilet at Cruise nightclub in Chester in July 2012. The jury hears her evidence once again as well as that from her friends whom she told about it. The defendant denies being in Cruise on the date in question and says the incident never happened. The prosecution believes they have provided a photo which proves he was in the club, but the defendant says this picture was taken in Cruise on a subsequent date.
Judge Landale has moved on to counts five, six and seven relating to the fourth complainant. She has alleged Crawshaw raped her in Grosvenor Park in March or April 2012. Judge Landale reads out a summary of her account as well as the evidence provided by her friends. Crawshaw admits he had a ‘friends with benefits’ sexual relationship with the complainant in the past, but says the alleged incident in the park never happened.
Grosvenor Park rape claim
The judge is reciting the account of the third complainant, who claims Crawshaw raped her in Grosvenor Park in April 2010. Judge Landale also reads out the evidence provided by the alleged victim’s friends before she provides a summary of Crawshaw’s version of events. The defendant says he only met the complainant twice and denies the incident ever happened.
Jury back in court
The jury has returned to court. Judge Landale will continue her summing up of the evidence. She is now addressing the fourth count on the indictment.
Charges against Crawshaw
Here is the full list of charges faced by Nicholas Crawshaw, all of which he denies:
Count 1: Sexual assault of a girl under the age of 16 between January and May 2010. First complainant.
Count 2: Sexual assault of a girl under the age of 16 between January and May 2010. First complainant.
Count 3: Rape of a girl under the age of 16 between January and May 2010. Second complainant.
Count 4: Rape of a girl under the age of 16 in April 2010. Third complainant.
Count 5: Assault by penetration in March or April 2012. Fourth complainant.
Count 6: Assault by penetration in March or April 2012. Fourth complainant.
Count 7: Rape of a woman in March or April 2012. Fourth complainant.
Count 8: Rape of a woman in July 2012. Fifth complainant.
Count 9: Sexual assault in June 2015. Sixth complainant.
Count 10: Rape of a woman in June 2015. Sixth complainant.
Count 11: Assault by penetration in June 2015. Seventh complainant.
Count 12: Rape of a woman in June 2015. Seventh complainant.
Count 13: Rape of a woman in June 2015. Seventh complainant.
Count 14: Rape of a woman in June 2015. Seventh complainant.
Count 15: Rape of a woman in June 2015. Seventh complainant.
Count 16: Rape of a woman in June 2015. Seventh complainant.
Break for lunch
Judge Landale has finished summing up the evidence in relation to the first three counts of the indictment. Court has broken for lunch and will resume at 2.30pm.
Consider all the evidence
Judge Landale has finished giving her legal directions to the jury. Before beginning her summing up of the evidence, Judge Landale said: “You’ve heard from a number of victims in this case, please bear in mind all of their evidence.”
Routes to verdict
Judge Landale has read through the evidence of the complainants and Crawshaw ‘in a nutshell’. She is now going through the routes to verdict the jury must consider in relation to each count. As part of the routes to verdict the jury are being told the key questions they must answer. These include whether penetration actually happened as the complainants have described and, in relation to the sixth and seventh complainants, whether Crawshaw had consent. The issue of consent is not applicable in regard to the first five alleged victims as Crawshaw denies the incidents ever happened.
Consider each count separately
The judge says despite this, they must still consider each count separately.
Similarities in behaviour
The prosecution has cited similarities in Crawshaw’s pattern of behaviour given independently by the alleged victims. Judge Landale tells the jury they must be sure that some of the complainants have not ‘got together’ and made up the claims against the defendant before they take this into account.
Judge Landale is giving her legal directions to the jury. She tells them to remember ‘you are the judges of the facts, not me’. She reminds them Crawshaw does not have to prove his innocence, it is up to the prosecution to convince the jury of his guilt.
Today we’ll be bringing you live updates from the trial of Nicholas Crawshaw.
The trial is in its fourth week and you can click here to read what happened in court on Friday.
Also, an extremely important warning has been issued by the judge regarding the naming of any alleged victim.
And Cheshire Police have said anyone who identifies a complainant will be ‘arrested very quickly’.
We urge anyone reading this blog to read more about this HERE.
Chronicle reporter Mike Fuller is in court and will be bringing you updates from today’s proceedings.