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Ex-Sunday Telegraph journalist Ben Leapman denies three rapes after 'illegal material' found on laptop, court hears

A journalist who helped expose the scandal of MPs fiddling their expenses was accused of rape after “illegal material” was found on his laptop computer, a court heard.

Ben Leapman later admitted charges in relation to the material and was in May last year sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for a year, a jury was told.

Prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC said it was a completely separate matter but during the investigation the alleged rape offences came to light.

Ex-Sunday Telegraph journalist Ben Leapman was convicted of rape. Picture: Mike Gunnill

The woman claimed Leapman, former deputy news editor of the Sunday Telegraph, repeatedly sexually abused her.

Leapman, formerly of High Street, Eynsford, near Dartford, denies three specimen charges of rape.

Miss Laws said the woman, who cannot be identified, told police Leapman, 43, pressured her into having sex with her.

He became obsessed with sex, she said, and aggressive, hurting her during sex.

“He would refuse to stop when asked,” Miss Laws told the jury of seven women and five men. “He would force himself on her when she was refusing or saying no. She was scared.”

The woman, who is in her 40s, confided in a friend about what she claimed was happening to her.

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

It was important, said the QC, that the police investigation into Leapman’s laptop revealed he was at the time discussing violent sexual desires with strangers on the internet.

He talked during the “perfectly legal” conversations of hurting women while performing an unnatural sex act.

“The defendant will, no doubt, say these were all fantasies,” said Miss Laws.

“We say these obsessive late night chats about violent sex and rape with strangers is part of why he started to treat (the woman) in the way he did.”

She claimed Leapman, now of South Lambeth, south west London, told her he wanted to bring in another woman to have sex with them.

Miss Laws said Leapman pestered the complainant for sex and raped her from behind.

“She would ask him to stop,” she continued. “He took no notice. She would shout out at times, telling him it hurt. He still would not stop.

“He would treat it lightly. He would laugh it off. He bragged he was too big.”

Giving evidence from behind curtains, screened from the dock, the woman claimed Leapman became obsessed with sex.

“I was becoming more scared of him. He had a very crazed look on his face, like he was focussed on one thing - on his own satisfaction" - Leapman's alleged victim

She said of Leapman allegedly forcing himself on her: “I would say to him: ‘No, really, can you not do that?’ He would ignore me and continue. I would try to shrug him off, push him away.”

She said of Leapman allegedly performing an unnatural sex act: “I would be shouting: ‘It really seriously hurts. Can you just stop.’

“I was becoming more scared of him. He had a very crazed look on his face, like he was focussed on one thing - on his own satisfaction, his own gratification, almost like he was out of control.

“He would talk to me in a horrible way, again all about him.”

The woman said Leapman was obsessed about the size of his manhood and talked about it constantly. He spoke about sex “almost like a teenage boy”.

She continued: “He said he had an idea. He said he could arrange for both of us to have sex with a woman. I was horrified.

“He said he knew how to do it. He could do it online. It was easy to set-up. He kept saying: ‘That will solve everything. It will work.’

“He said it would be fun. I got very angry. It felt very seedy, very horrible - just so disgusting really.”

The trial continues.

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