Murderer declines to testify in his defence at rape trial
A CONVICTED murderer and rapist on trial for subjecting a 32-year-old woman to a "brutal and prolonged" sex attack in which she was tied up and repeatedly raped in her Bristol home has declined to give evidence in his defence.
A jury at Bristol Crown Court has been told the woman briefly chatted to Mark Shirley at the Pitcher and Piano pub on Bristol's Waterfront. It is alleged that, three weeks later, he turned up at her home in a balaclava and inflicted a terrifying attack on her in which he threatened to cut off pieces of her body and she believed she would be killed.
Shirley, 42 and of Lockleaze at the time, denies 17 charges comprising four rapes, 12 serious sexual assaults and wounding in December 2005.
The jury has been told that, in late 2009, he was convicted of rape, sexual assault by penetration and false imprisonment of a woman also in her Bristol home. That attack took place on March 20, 2009, a little over three years after the alleged attack on the current complainant.
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And in 1987, when Shirley was 17, he was convicted of murdering a woman aged in her sixties in Wales.
It is claimed there are obvious similarities between the murder, rape and current complaint, such as use of a blade and fascination for blood, putting them "beyond the realms of coincidence".
Rosaleen Collins, junior prosecution counsel, read the jury a chronology of events which charted how, after Shirley was released on licence from his murder sentence after 16 years, he was recalled to prison in 2004 but released on licence from HMP Bristol four months later.
He was stop-checked by police at the Watershed area in November 2005, the court heard, and was recalled to prison again in 2007 but released on licence in 2008.
The jury heard how, in 2009, the latest complainant told a psychologist she had been raped in her home three years previously, and also told a community psychiatric nurse that a man had broken into her home and sexually assaulted her.
The woman recounted hearing growling noises at night and said she would be killed if she told anyone about her attacker. The jury heard the traumatised complainant told a doctor she believed there was a man in her house, and gave a "chaotic description" of violent and sexually humiliating abuse. She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and presented with a month of auditory hallucinations of voices and growling noises at night, as well as "seeing" the face of her attacker, the jury heard.
Miss Collins said in 1987 Shirley had been convicted of the murder of 67-year-old widow Mary Wainwright at her flat in Llanrumney, Cardiff.
In 2009 he was convicted of rape and sexual assault on 40-year-old Helen Stockford, in her Bristol home.
The case continues.