A MAN accused of rape confessed to the attack in a conversation which was secretly recorded by the alleged victim on her mobile phone, a court was told.

Matthew Landells was caught saying sorry to the woman who handed the recording into the police, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor David Lamb said Mr Landells' apology amounted to a confession and said it was not the first time he had apologised for his actions.

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He said: “He [Mr Landells] was caught off guard by [her] sharp thinking.”

Mr Lamb described how the woman had been in tears when she was being raped and had told the defendant “in the clearest terms that she did not want him to do this”.

“It would have been obvious to the defendant that [she] was not consenting to what he was doing to her,” he said.

The woman had only told police about the alleged rape after Mr Landells was arrested on suspicion of assaulting her.

Mr Lamb said the defendant was alleged to have pushed the woman and put his hands around her neck - with her sister calling the police.

When he was interviewed Mr Landells, 24, of Anne Swyft Road, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, said sex between the pair had been consensual.

Mr Lamb said that after he was charged the defendant was released on bail with conditions that he did not contact the woman.

However, he began regularly calling her on her phone. They met up and Mr Landells asked her not to attend court to testify against him.

Mr Lamb accused Mr Landells of “chicanery and skullduggery” in order to benefit himself.

He added: “He would have known that without her turning up and being able to testify he was home and hosed.”

Mr Landells, who has a previous conviction for common assault which was revealed to the jury, denies charges of rape, assault by beating and perverting the course of justice. His trial is expected to last three days.

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