A CONVICTED rapist who served 28 years in prison is on trial accused of raping a 71-year-old woman months after his release, who said: “I thought I was going to die.”

Anthony Murphy, 59, is accused of forcing himself on a woman in her home in Middlesbrough after befriending her and her partner.

A jury was told how he raped a woman in France in 1982, and raped another woman in Wales in 1991.

He was given a life sentence and served 28 years, Teesside Crown Court heard.

He was released from prison in July last year, and is accused of raping and molesting a woman four months later.

The woman walked into a Middlesbrough restaurant holding her stomach area and said, “I’ve been raped” on November 9 last year.

A restaurant worker who knew her said: “She looked like a frail old lady. She could hardly walk. I put my arms around her and she flopped on to me.

“She said it happened in her house and said she thought she was going to die.”

Police found the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in a distressed state and shaking.

She said Murphy came to her home and tried to kiss her.

When she pulled away, she said Mr Murphy grabbed her around the throat and tried to strangle her.

She said she was terrified as he dragged her upstairs to a bedroom and raped her.

When he was arrested, Mr Murphy, of Middlesbrough Road, South Bank, near Middlesbrough, said: “I don’t know anything about this.”

He denies two charges of rape, one of attempted rape and two charges of sexual assault.

In his police interviews, he was asked about his past.

The jury was told he raped and beat a woman in Paris in 1982, overpowering, hitting, strangling, pushing and jumping on her, putting her in hospital for several days.

“Yes that’s me,” he said.

He was convicted of rape and another serious sexual offence in Wales in 1991.

He “flipped”, dragged a woman into a van, grabbed her by the throat, threatened to kill her and forced himself on her, jurors heard.

Asked about this, he said: “I was guilty.”

But he maintained he was not guilty of the latest allegations.

The case continues.