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Husband uses Facebook to track down wife's alleged rapist: Court

A husband used Facebook to track down and assault a man alleged to have raped his wife more than 10 years ago, a court heard.

The man, who cannot be named, managed to trace Andrew Marsh by claiming to be organising a surprise party for his wife.

During a row about lack of intimacy in their marriage the woman had confided in her husband that she had been raped as a teenager.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard she thought her marriage was on the verge of breaking up and eventually told her husband Marsh’s name because he kept “badgering” her.

Giving evidence at Marsh’s trial she added: “I didn’t want to tell him because I was scared what he would do.”

Her husband then used the social networking site to speak to old friends and obtained Marsh’s telephone number.

Having contacted the 38-year-old, the court was told he then visited him at his home and, said prosecutor Isobel Ascherson, “beat him”.

The alleged rape was then reported to the police. The woman told the court she had never thought about telling the police before but it was what her husband wanted her to do.

“He told me I had to call the police otherwise he would be prosecuted for assault,” she explained.

Marsh, of Bockenham House, The Fairway, Rochester, denies rape and indecent assault between February and March 2001.Maidstone crown court

Andrew Marsh is on trial at Maidstone Crown Court

The court heard he ran a grocer’s shop in Chatham High Street at the time and the store was often visited by schoolgirls.

Marsh, who was 27 and married, was described as being “very friendly, chatty and flirty”.

A relationship between Marsh and the teenager developed into cuddling and French kissing, said Miss Ascherson, when Marsh walked her to catch a bus home.

But, shortly before her birthday, it is alleged that Marsh led the girl into an alleyway off The Brook, pinned her against a wall and raped her.

“He was kissing and touching her and she made it clear to him she didn’t want to go that far,” said the prosecutor.

“Despite that, he had her pinned facing the wall and took down her knickers....He penetrated her from behind despite her objections and her real, real desire for this not to be happening. She was raped by him.”

After the alleged attack, the girl went home and told no one about what had happened until last year.

Following his arrest, Marsh told police he could recall kissing and cuddling the teenager, and said he may have touched her breasts.

“But what he was very clear about in his interview was that there was not sexual intercourse,” said Miss Ascherson.

The trial continues.

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