Former Bedford councillor on trial for rape of disabled woman

Picture � South Beds News Agency
Picture � South Beds News Agency

A former councillor is accused of raping and sexually abusing a disabled woman after she agreed to have ‘a bit of fun’ with him.

Paul Prescod, 51, who previously worked for Bedford Borough Council, is said to have taken advantage of the vulnerable woman on numerous occasions.

In a recorded interview with the police, played to a jury at Luton Crown Court, the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said when she first met Prescod he gave her his ‘councillor’ card.

She said Prescod smoked ‘weed and coke’, took cigarettes from her, borrowed money that he did not pay back and, on three occasions, touched her down her bra and in her knickers.

The woman, who was aided by an intermediary, said: “He kept putting his hand down my knickers.

“I didn’t like it. It isn’t right.”

Prosecutor Beverley Cripps explained to the jury that initially the woman complained to the police that he had sexually touched her on three occasions.

He denied those allegations and went on trial.

But after she had given evidence a man came forward to say that she had told him she had in fact been raped twice by Prescod.

The trial was halted and she was interviewed further by police and agreed she had been raped, once on Boxing Day 2013 and again later in 2014.

Ms Cripps told the jury that two relatives became concerned after seeing the Bedford Borough councillor at the woman’s home.

She said: “The defendant was drunk and under the influence of drugs. They asked him to leave. He had helped himself to £100 of her cash.”

They saw him at her home on another occasion and realised she was intimidated by him, and that he was frequently asking her for money.

Her carers also found her ‘incredibly distressed’ one day and the police were called.

Ms Cripps told the jury how in police interview, Prescord accepted there had been sexual activity between himself and the woman.

She said: “He answered every question and said there had been some consensual sexual activity between the two, but not full sex. He said it happened on two occasions when they had both been drinking.

“He said he didn’t want a relationship and that it was a ‘bit of fun’, which she had been fine with.”

Prescod, of Wootton, denies three charges of sexual assault and three of assault by penetration between December 2013 and August 2014 and two charges of rape.

The trial continues.