UK

Occupy London Protestor Malcolm Blackman Denies Raping Woman Inside Tent

26/04/2013 21:27 BST

A protester at the notorious Occupy London camp site on the foot of St Paul's Cathedral today denied twice raping a woman in one of the tents.

Malcolm Blackman, 46, struck up a "relationship" with the woman at the tent city in December 2011.

The woman, who waited several months before reporting the allegations to police, said she woke up in her tent late on January 21 or in the early hours of January 22 2012 to find Blackman, of Gloucester Street, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, raping her.

Gordon Ross, defending, asked him today at his Old Bailey trial if he knowingly went into her tent, removed her clothes and attacked her.

"That simply did not happen, sir," answered the defendant.

"Did you ever take advantage of her while she was asleep?" asked the barrister.

"Absolutely not."

The complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, alleges that on January 28, after rowing with Blackman, he forced her to perform a sex act on him.

The defendant told the jury of nine women and three men it did not happen.

He said the woman was angry about a new relationship he had started with another protester.

He said that after a day's demonstrating on the 28th outside the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square and in Piccadilly Circus he, the complainant and other members of Anonymous UK, returned to camp for a party.

He said after drinking beer and whisky he went to their tent for some "peace and quiet".

He had previously told the complainant he was not interested in a long term relationship and they were "moving too fast", he said, and tried to avoid her attempts to discuss the matter.

Blackman, who took on a leadership role within the group doing media interviews and patrolling the grounds, said the woman entered the tent and tried to talk about their relationship.

"She said 'I want to talk about us, can we talk about us?" said the defendant.

"I said 'For Christ's sake, can I get some peace please?'

"I wanted to leave. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the situation.

"I wanted to leave but I was prevented.

"She shoved me back with both hands."

Blackman said she shoved him again and he had to call out for help to leave the tent.

The defendant said he did not return to the tent and went home to Somerset until February 7 when he came back to the camp.

He said he eventually left for good on February 26 the day after he claims the complainant punched him and also hit his new lover.

The trial will resume on Monday.