Woman's mental state 'consistent with trauma of rape'
A CLINICAL psychologist has described flashbacks experienced by a woman who has accused a convicted murderer of raping her.
Mark Shirley, 42, is accused of bursting into his victim's home wearing a balaclava and wielding a knife before subjecting her to a 14-hour ordeal.
A jury at Bristol Crown Court has been told that before the alleged attack in December 2005 Shirley had already murdered one woman – and that he had also been convicted of raping another woman in her Bristol home in 2009, before the current complainant came forward to police.
She claims he attacked her after meeting her in the Pitcher and Piano pub on the Harbourside and learning when she would be home alone.
Shirley, pictured, who lived in Lockleaze at the time, denies four charges of rape, 12 serious sexual assaults and wounding the 32-year-old woman.
Yesterday clinical psychologist Olga dos Santos told the jury she had worked with the victim between 2008 and 2010. During a meeting in March 2009 her client said she had been raped by a stranger three years earlier and her mental health deteriorated.
"I remember her saying it happened when her housemate was away for the weekend and that it lasted many hours," said Dr dos Santos. "After she had told me she became incredibly distressed and it was consistent with someone who was experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
"Her general mental health changed dramatically. She found it hard to engage, became anxious and described reliving a lot of aspects of the rape.
"She told me in the evening the intensity of the flashbacks increased. She was seeing the perpetrator in her house, particularly in the bedroom, and she would hear him growling.
"She could hear some of the things he said during the rape and she became extremely frightened that he would find her and kill her."
Asked whether she thought there were any inconsistencies in what she was saying, Dr dos Santos replied: "Based on my experience, the way she presented was consistent with someone who had experienced a traumatic incident of the nature she had described to me."
The case continues.