Sunday 22 April 2018

Woman raped at Glastonbury festival 'thank you' party as revellers filmed, court hears

Glastonbury festival
Glastonbury festival

A partygoer raped a woman at a fundraising event held to say "thank you" to people living near the Glastonbury festival site while people filmed on their phones, a court has heard.

Joshua Pigden (25) was spotted "snogging" the woman against the perimeter fence at the annual Pilton Party, a jury was told.

Moments later Mr Pidgen and the woman were lying on the floor outside a music tent and visitors thought they were having sex, it was heard.

Security guards intervened when they saw people at the annual Worthy Farm fundraiser crowding around the pair with their phones out, the prosecution said.

Security guard David Tanner told Taunton Crown Court that Mr Pidgen "jumped to his feet" but his alleged victim was "too intoxicated" to get dressed or stand up without falling. Mr Pigden, from Bristol, denies raping a woman at the festival in September 2014.

Pilton Party is an annual "thank you" fundraising gig for local people organised by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis on the site after the main festival.

Witness Andrew Hicks, who was at the festival that night, said he first became aware of the pair when a friend told him a couple nearby were having sex.

He told the court: "When I first saw them, they were kissing against the security fence. He had pushed her up against the fence. They both seemed pretty drunk, staggering around. They were full on snogging."

He said the next time he glanced over the girl was lying on the floor with the man on top of her.

He added: "Two men came over and started filming them, or taking photos. The man stopped what he was doing, but when the others walked away, he went back at it. She was just lying there. The next time I saw them, they were surrounded by security guards."

He said he only realised what had happened when he saw the police arrive, adding: "It's on my conscience that I didn't realise what was actually happening."

Mr Tanner said he saw groups of people "peeling" away from the crowds in the tent to stand and watch, many with their phones out.

He said: "I shouted at them, but they couldn't hear me - the music was too loud - so I flashed my torch over them.

"I told them knock it off, that this was a family event. He was on top of her. He jumped to his feet, but she didn't move. She didn't even try to put her clothes back on.

"It was a few moments before she seemed to come around and even tried to get dressed, but she was too intoxicated to do that, even. She was really struggling.

"She pulled herself to her feet and fell straight back down again, and that's when we realised that something wasn't right."

The woman was helped to the medical tent, while Mr Pigden was detained by security, the court was told. Jenny Tallentire, prosecuting, told the jury the woman remembered little of what had happened that night.

The trial continues.

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