Rape accused left Lowestoft days after alleged attack to 'see ill mother in India'
PUBLISHED: 15:24 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:48 24 May 2019
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A Suffolk man accused of raping a mother in his car after giving her a late night lift home told a friend in the days after that he needed to fly back to India to see his ill mother.
The friend told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that Ajay Rana had turned up at his Middlesex home at around 11pm on December 12, 2017, with a "massive" suitcase and appearing to be nervous.
He said Rana said he wanted to go back to India to see his ill mother but when he offered to call a taxi to take him to the airport or to help him book a flight he had declined.
The friend had then dropped Rana at a taxi rank and described returning home feeling confused by Rana's behaviour and thinking: "This is strange. Something isn't right."
Cross-examined by defence counsel Jude Durr, the friend denied that Rana had showed him a newspaper article on his mobile phone about the alleged rape in Lowestoft.
He also denied that Rana had asked him how much it would cost to defend such an allegation in this country and that he had replied: "More money than you've got."
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Rana, 34, of May Road, Lowestoft, denies rape on December 9, 2017.
The court has heard that within a few days of the allegation, Rana left the country and was arrested in Spain on suspicion of the rape after a European arrest warrant was issued.
Jurors have heard how the woman had been at a nightclub in Lowestoft with a friend, before meeting an old friend and going to a house party with his group.
She went back to the man's address until 5am and was walking to a friend's house when Rana, who she had never met before, stopped and offered her a lift home.
The woman claimed that Rana asked her if she "wanted some fun" and had then allegedly climbed on top of her and raped her in the car.
After tracking the car to his housemate's address police identified Rana as their suspect after matching DNA from earphones left at his house to swabs taken from the woman.
When giving evidence earlier this week, the woman denied having consensual sex with Rana.
The trial continues.