Scarborough rape trial: Woman who came to the victim's aid chased the topless attacker through town centre

A man accused of raping a young Scarborough woman in an alleyway was seen running through the town centre topless following the attack, a jury heard.

Sunday, 27th January 2019, 6:23 pm
Updated Sunday, 27th January 2019, 6:33 pm
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The rapist took his shirt off as he ran from the scene of the attack in an alleyway between North Street and Newborough, York Crown Court was told.

He was chased by a woman who had gone to the aid of the victim, who had screamed for help.

Read the report of Day One of the rape trial hereThe rapist ran through the town centre with the woman in pursuit, but she finally gave up the chase, said prosecutor Michael Collins.

He said the Crown had overwhelming evidence that the shirtless man fleeing the scene was Mitko Naskov, a 19-year-old Bulgarian who was wearing a baseball cap and Bermuda-type shorts on the night in question.

On Friday, the second day of the trial, Mr Collins cited CCTV evidence showing a man running down Newborough, North Street and the “busy” night spot of St Nicholas Street, wearing “patchwork” or “multi-coloured” shorts which appeared to match those worn by Naskov in the hours leading up to the attack at about 3am on August 12 last year.

Day One of the trial: Victim begged attacker to leave her aloneThe three women who went to the aid of the victim called police and gave a description of the rapist and the clothes he was wearing. Their descriptions led police to the door of Naskov.

He was arrested about 15 hours later at his home in Scarborough, where police found the clothes he had been wearing the previous night. They also found a pair of his underpants stuffed into a rucksack from which DNA evidence was gleaned.

Police custody photos of a tattoo on Naskov’s back appeared to match that of the “distinctive image” caught on CCTV as the attacker ran from the alleyway.

Various DNA evidence was checked by a forensic officer who concluded that it was a “billion-to-one” chance that the attacker could have been anyone other than Naskov.

He was quizzed by officers at Scarborough Police Station on three separate occasions the day after the attack, but refused to answer any of their questions despite two-and-a half hours of interrogation.

Detective Inspector Stephen Paxton, of Scarborough Police, said police acted on descriptions which appeared to match Naskov’s appearance and clothing.

But Naskov’s barrister Laura Addy said that due to the quality of the CCTV footage, it was “impossible” to be sure what the fleeing man was wearing, “nor indeed who it is”.

She suggested that Naskov, of Pavilion Square, could have been one of many people wearing Bermuda-style shorts that morning because of last year’s extraordinarily-hot summer.

She said there was no definitive facial recognition on the footage, and it could only be ascertained that the suspect was wearing dark shorts.

Ms Addy suggested that police may have got the wrong man, but this was refuted by DI Paxton.

The court heard that the attacker had crept up on the victim and lifted her off her feet, before forcing her into an alleyway near the Scarborough foreshore. She was then raped as she begged the man to stop.

The rapist, who forced her into a corner, ignored her pleas and tried to rape her again, said Mr Collins.

After hearing the victim scream for help, the three women came to her aid and the rapist fled. They called police who arrived at the scene to find the woman, in her late teens, in an utterly “distressed” state.

The attack was caught on CCTV and Naskov, of Pavilion Square, was arrested later that day. He was charged with rape and attempted rape, but denied the allegations, claiming he was not the rapist.

The trial continues.