Weston man 'took woman off bus and raped her in flat'

A woman with learning difficulties has told how a man took her off a bus to his flat where he subjected her to a night of sexual assaults and rape.

John Ebdon, 67, of Kensington Road, Weston-super-Mare, is charged with three sex assaults and two rapes on Halloween last year.

He has a form of dementia and has been ruled unfit to plead or stand trial.

Instead, a jury at Bristol Crown Court must find whether or not he committed the acts.

The woman, who was aged 19 at the time and is now 20, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

She told the court she had been to a Halloween party in Weston-super-Mare with friends and was waiting for a bus home at about 21:00 GMT when she was approached by the man.

'Blanking out'

The woman said he was whispering in her ear that he wanted a kiss on the cheek, but she refused.

She said she was "worried he was going to be dangerous" because he was also touching her leg.

She said that when she got on the bus he sat next to her and warned her not to say anything.

He prevented her getting off at her stop by grabbing her arm, she said.

She added that he made her get off the bus with him by pulling her arm, and told the bus driver she was his grand-daughter when she asked for help.

The woman said he took her to a flat where he repeatedly assaulted her on a mattress in the living room.

She also described "blanking out" after drinking tea and eating what she thought was "mashed up Weetabix" given to her by the man.

The woman said he kept asking her if she had had sex before and if she had been raped before.

She said that in the morning he made her clean his flat.

Chat lines

The woman said she escaped when he took her back into town on the bus and she ran away.

Mr Ebdon's barrister, Ramin Pakrooh, asked if she had tried to escape previously.

The woman said he had put the chain across the door and she could not undo it. She added that the man had hidden her phone so she could not call for help.

Mr Pakrooh asked the woman if her support worker had spoken to her previously about the dangers of contacting men on chat lines in the back of magazines.

She said: "He did speak to me about it but then I realised afterwards what I had done wasn't a good thing."

The woman agreed she had told the support worker she rang chat lines because she was lonely.

Asked by Mr Pakrooh if she went to the man's flat because she was lonely, she said: "I was forced to do those things."

Mr Ebdon was arrested after she identified the flat she said she was taken to.

His DNA was found on her underwear.

The case continues.

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