'I thought it was all over': Alleged rape victim tells how Northampton man nearly strangled her to death

Winston Reid is facing trial at Northampton Crown Court over allegations he raped and beat women.
Winston Reid is facing trial at Northampton Crown Court over allegations he raped and beat women.

An alleged victim of a Northampton man accused of being a violent rapist and 'pimp' has claimed he nearly killed her by strangling her, a court heard.

Winston Reid, who is alleged to have used various methods to exercise control over his victims, is currently facing trial for a series of sexual assaults, rape, physical beatings and blackmail against two women.

The 55-year-old was arrested in 2015 following an appeal on BBC One’s Crimewatch after a number of sexual assault allegations were made against him. At the time the show claimed he was working as a fitness instructor.

He later pleaded not guilty to six counts of rape, two counts of indecent assault, eight counts of causing actual bodily harm and one count of blackmail, most of which was allegedly carried out while he lived in Northampton area.

During the second day of the hearing, Northampton Crown Court heard how Reid allegedly strangled one of his victims "four or five times" to the point she passed out.

She said: “He squeezed my neck so hard, I passed out,” she told the court, while giving evidence from behind a screen.

When prosecutor Jonathon Dee asked her what she felt at the time, she said: “Terror. I couldn’t breathe. I was gasping for air and got nothing.

“All of a sudden there was a calm that came over me.

“I didn’t have a worry in the world. I thought it was all over,” she said.

Yesterday, Reid was due to appear at court for the third day of the hearing but it was adjourned.

Reid is yet to outline his defence, but prosecutor Mr Dee said the 55-year-old will claim the acts were "consensual".

The trial continues.