Monday, 6.15pm: A woman has described to a court how her “life flashed before her eyes” as she was covered in whisky and raped by a man accused of murdering Peterborough woman Sally McGrath.
The woman, who can not be named, claims that she was raped by Paul Taylor in March 1979, a year before Sally McGrath’s body was found.
The woman fought back tears while giving evidence at Chelmsford Crown Court today, telling the jury that Taylor drove her to a secluded country lane and raped her in his car.
She said that on the afternoon of March 15, 1979, when she was 19, she agreed to let Taylor give her a lift home, after meeting him in the Bull pub in Westgate, Peterborough.
But instead Taylor drove to her to a country pub for a meal and then to a secluded snow-covered country lane.
The woman said Taylor hit her in the face, poured whisky over her and raped her in the passenger seat of his red Ford Princess car.
She said: “He became snarly and said: ‘Do what I say or I will kill you’.
“I kept saying I was pregnant and a lesbian so he wouldn’t touch me.
“My life flashed before my eyes and I thought I was going to die.”
The woman said that the alleged rape had traumatised her to the extent that she did not “go near another man for seven years”.
The woman added: “I will never forget what he did, it was like a nightmare only real.
“Afterwards I just wanted to be as far away from that monster as possible.”
The woman told the court that after the alleged rape, Taylor then drove her to the Angel pub in Stamford, where bar staff refused to help her.
He then took her to see friends of his before driving her to the Haycock Hotel in Wansford. where he booked them into a room under his name and address.
The woman told the jury that Taylor raped her again in the room before driving her back to her home in Peterborough the next day.
There she told her parents who called the police, but the woman claimed officers told her to drop the charges.
She said: “They said it was my word against his.
“They said his defence would crush me in court.
“Their attitude was: ‘You’ll get over it’. They were not like they are today.
“In 1979 there was nothing to help people who had gone through that, there was no counselling or anything.”
The woman said she then went to see a doctor, but because she had had a bath beforehand, no internal examination was carried out.
Stephen Pownell, defending, argued that the woman had given Taylor consent to have sex.
He also questioned why people who had seen the woman with Taylor didn’t raise the alarm.
He said: “You say you went to two pubs, a house and a hotel and nobody noticed the state you were in?
“The truth is things happened in a way you would have preferred they didn’t.
“You gave your consent and sex took place in the Haycock.”
To this, the woman replied; “No I didnt have a say in the matter.
“He told me not to say anything to anyone.
“I was there, I know what happened, I know the truth.
“Nothing can ever change that, nothing can take away the terrible memories I have had since I was 19.”
Former soldier Taylor (60), originally from Peterborough and now living in Fareham, Hampshire, was arrested last year.
Taylor was charged with Miss McGrath’s murder along with three counts of rape, one attempted rape, a serious sexual assault and an indecent assault.
The sexual offences relate to three different women.
Taylor denies the charges.
Miss McGrath (22) was found naked in a shallow grave in woodland near Peterborough in March 1980 after vanishing in July 1979.
Her killer could not be found despite a major police investigation.
The trial continues.