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Ashford man on trial for assaulting pensioner refuses to appear in dock

A man on trial accused of tying up and sexually assaulting a woman in her home has refused to leave his cell.

Billy Williams, 28, of Smarden Road, Ashford, denies sexually assaulting the victim, keeping her prisoner and two burglaries.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

Jurors at Maidstone Crown Court were told Williams would not be in court and consequently would not be called upon to give evidence.

Judge Charles Gratwicke told them not to allow that fact to influence their verdicts.

It came as the court was played police bodycam footage of an officer entering a house near Maidstone to find the terrified victim bound to a chair and lying on her side amidst scattered belongings.

The officer took a knife from the kitchen and cut away the tape tied to the 67-year-old's hands and covering her mouth as an ambulance was called. She had lain undiscovered for three days following the raid on Easter Sunday.

It's alleged Williams was responsible for the raid, which took place less than a mile away from where he is alleged to have just committed another burglary.

Prosecutor Nina Ellin read through a list of William's pre-convictions dating back several years and ranging in severity from criminal damage when he was a teenager to three armed robberies. twice of the same post office at St Mary's Bay.

Defending Christopher Surtees-Jones said in all except one of his previous convictions – an assault committed when he was 14 – Williams had pleaded guilty.

The jury previously heard how the victim was sexually assaulted and received rape and death threats.

She was only discovered after her concerned partner - who was away - called police when his calls went unanswered.

Ms Ellin said the victim saw the back of a man in her garden, despite the fact the gate had been locked.

He told her he'd been on a bike ride and needed some water but when she turned to get some he grabbed her and pushed a chisel to her neck.

He demanded to know where the money and valuables were and the victim was then put through an ordeal lasting two hours.

The raider said to her "Do you want me to kill you? Do you want me to rape you?", put a knife to her cheek, sexually assaulted her and dropped a heavy chest of drawers on her.

After rifling through every room, he tied her to a chair before pouring two bottles of spirits over her head - she feared he was going to set her alight, said the prosecutor.

The raider then stole small items of jewellery, a laptop, camera and phone before fleeing, after putting a fleece and a cat mat over his victim.

Ms Ellin added: "He left her, tied to a chair and soaking wet. The door was open and she was getting cold. She saw a knife but fell over and couldn't move."

She was found three days later "in considerable pain from her traumatic and terrifying ordeal" and taken to hospital, the jury heard.

Williams was arrested after police traced his phone to nearby masts - but he denied being there and blamed another man.

The trial continues.

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