A FORMER council chief has gone on trial over a series of alleged rapes and sex attacks.

In one incident, Richard Dunn, a former Conservative councillor and deputy leader of Richmondshire District Council, is alleged to have punched his victim and tied up their wrists.

In another, the complainant told police they had an arm twisted behind their back before being raped.

A belt, said to have been used in one of the attacks, was also forensically examined and found to contain the victim’s cellular material, indicating it was used in the fashion alleged, said Shaun Dodds, prosecuting.

The alleged abuse came to light after a healthcare worker witnessed lacerations and bruises to the victim’s body and alerted police. A doctor had also taken photographs of bruising on the victim’s legs.

Mr Dunn, a retired firefighter, denies 15 counts of rape and is on trial at Teesside Crown Court. He has also pleaded not guilty to three indecent assaults, two of indecency with a child and a further charge of sexual assault.

Mr Dodds said some of the charges related to specific incidents, while others were specimen counts.

He said Mr Dunn, who lives in Hunton, near Bedale, North Yorkshire, was arrested and interviewed by police after the allegations were reported to the authorities.

He described the complaints against him as “shocking” and “horrifying”, but could provide no answers as to why they had been made.

Mr Dodds said the complainant would not be entering the witness box during the trial, but would be crossexamined via a live video link.

He said the case would take a considerable time to be heard.

The defendant, Mr Dunn, listened intently from the dock as lengthy pre-recorded police interviews with the alleged victim were yesterday played to the jury.

At times, the complainant’s voice was barely audible. The victim was also allowed to write down some phrases during the interviews, rather than say them out loud.

The trial continues.