Jury told they will hear 'polar opposite' accounts of alleged Northampton graveyard sex attack

A Northampton man charged with rape over an incident in a town centre graveyard has claimed his alleged victim "directed" him to have sex with her.

Tuesday, 17th October 2017, 3:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 3:03 am
The jury heard they would hear "polar opposite" accounts of what happened on the night.

Eric Herminie, 53, of Newnham Road, Kingsthorpe, appeared at Northampton Crown Court today (October 17) for the second day of his trial, where he faces three counts of rape and three counts of assault by penetration.

In the prosecution's opening statement, the jury was told they would hear "polar opposite" accounts of an incident in May involving Herminie and a woman in St Giles Church churchyard, in St Giles Terrace.

The alleged victim says during a night out on May 8, Herminie walked her to the graveyard, pushed her to the ground and raped her.

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Herminie has denied the allegations and claims the woman "directed" him to have sex with her.

Prosecutor Caroline Bray outlined her case to the jury today, and said: "[The victim] was out for a drink with friends at the Auctioneers pub in Northampton market square.

"Mr Herminie was at the pub that night. He says that it was 'plain to him' that she was flirting with him, and it was her idea to go to the graveyard.

"She says she had no physical attraction to him... and there had been no particular interaction [between the two]."

The court heard how evidence would show Herminie and the woman walking to the graveyard after leaving the pub.

Mrs Bray said: "Their accounts differ greatly. She says he forced her to the floor and raped her. He says this was all consensual."

After Herminie left, the victim reportedly walked straight to Northampton General Hospital and reported the incident.

Herminie was arrested the next day. Police seized the clothes he wore the night before, which were "blood stained".

Police taped off St Giles Churchyard the next day to investigate.

The trial continues.