Friday 20 April 2018

Woman passed on 'as if she were chattel', swimmer’s rape trial told

Swimmer Otto Putland, 24, who represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, leaves Cardiff Crown Court where he is accused of raping a woman after a night out in Cardiff in July 2015. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Swimmer Otto Putland, 24, who represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, leaves Cardiff Crown Court where he is accused of raping a woman after a night out in Cardiff in July 2015. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A woman allegedly raped by a Commonwealth Games swimmer has told a court he came into the room and started taking his clothes off moments after she had consensual sex with his friend, another top swimmer.

Otto Putland, 24, who represented Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, is accused of raping the woman after a night out in Cardiff in July 2015.

The woman said the swimmer, who denies the offence, entered the bedroom after she had consensual sex with his friend, Olympic swimmer Ieuan Lloyd.

The prosecuting barrister told the court the woman was passed on "as if she were chattel".

In a video-recorded interview played at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, the woman said she met Lloyd, whom she had known for about a year, in a club and they spent most of the evening together before going back to his home.

"We left his friend (Putland) in the club with another girl. Once we got back to Ieuan's house we had sex."

The woman said afterwards Lloyd got up and went out of the bedroom, leaving the door open, and she could hear him talking to Putland but she could not hear all of their conversation.

Putland then came and sat on the bed and started taking off his shoes, the court heard.

"When he started taking off his clothes that's when I texted my friend saying 'Help something might happen'.

"Ieuan closed the door and he left me and Otto."

The woman said she was lying on the bed wearing a skirt and top but no underwear, that it was pitch black in the room and Putland started taking his clothes off.

She said: "He lay on top of me and that's when I was saying 'You can't pass me around' and he said 'We're not passing you around'.

"I told him I didn't want to have sex with him and he continued trying to kiss me."

The woman said Putland then removed his boxer shorts and she put her hands between her legs to cover her genitals.

She said: "He said 'Do you want me to put a condom on?' so he went and grabbed one and put one on."

Jurors heard Putland then said it was fine, they did not have to have sex and could just kiss.

"So I moved my hand but I was still crying and just kept turning my head away from him," said the woman.

"After I removed my hand he just put it in but he said to me 'Don't worry, it's just the tip'.

"I used my arms to keep him at a distance and push him away.

"At that point Ieuan walked in to grab something off the side of the table and he just walked straight back out again."

The woman said she told Putland she needed to go to the bathroom and he stopped.

In the bathroom she rang her friends and the next thing she remembered was hearing her phone ring and being back in the bed with Putland on top of her again.

The court heard that the woman's friends, responding to her calls for help, arrived at the address and then left with her in a taxi.

In her opening, Janet McDonald, for the prosecution, said the woman saw a forensic doctor two days later but did not report the matter to police until November 2016, initially saying she did not want her mother to know what had happened.

Ms McDonald said: "It was clear in the circumstances to her she could not turn to Ieuan Lloyd for help.

"He passed her on to his friend as if she were chattel."

The woman said she was "really drunk" and had had quite a lot to drink when she left the club with Lloyd but she knew what she was doing.

She said Putland was friendly and not aggressive when he came into the room.

Cross-examining her, Christopher Rees, for the defence, said she told the doctor in 2015 that she had drunk half a litre of Malibu and vodka and lemonades.

The woman agreed that sounded like drinks she would have on a night out but said she could remember what she said at the time.

Mr Rees asked her about the reliability of her memory and said: "There were gaps in your memory when you gave the account to the police 18 months later."

The woman said: "I can remember most of the night, it is just the one part I can't remember anything of at all."

She said that was what happened after she came out of the bathroom.

Mr Rees asked why she had not got up and left when Putland came into the room.

Agreeing that she could have done, the woman said: "I froze. I am not sure ... I wasn't thinking straight.

"I wasn't sure exactly what was going to happen at that time."

Mr Rees asked: "He says 'Do you want me to put a condom on?' and you didn't tell him 'No' and you didn't tell him you didn't want sex."

The woman said: "Not at that point."

Putland, of Dinedor, near Hereford, denies one count of rape.

The trial continues.

Press Association

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