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Former Army captain accused of rape was 'charming and likeable' before becoming 'volatile', court told

By // Law And Crime | Former Army captain accused of rape was 'charming and likeable' before becoming 'volatile', court told
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By Ian Garland

PUBLISHED: 13:24 EST, 13 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:35 EST, 13 April 2012

Former Parachute Regiment captain Brian Witty is charged with sexually assaulting four women

Former Parachute Regiment captain Brian Witty is charged with sexually assaulting four women

A former Army captain accused of raping and sexually assaulting four women was likened to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde today.

Brian Witty, 41, who served in the Parachute Regiment, was able to be 'charming, likeable, attractive, understanding and nice' to women, but his 'personality could change and become volatile,' the jury at Kingston Crown Court was told.

The father-of-two from Teddington, Middlesex, is accused of raping three women and sexually assaulting a fourth between 1995 and last year, having met two through a dating site and two in a bar.

None of the alleged victims were known to each other and despite being arrested and questioned after the first three alleged attacks, no charges were brought.

This, the prosecution allege, made him think he was 'untouchable'.

Witty, who denies the allegations, was only charged after the fourth woman made a complaint about him and police re-interviewed his previous three alleged victims.

Edmund Gritt, prosecuting, said it was 'no coincidence or bad luck' on Witty’s part that the four women unknown to each other had complained to police independently from each other.

He said: 'Why are these four cases tried together?

'There is no conspiracy to tell lies. These four women are unknown to each other, each came forward entirely independently and accused Brian Witty.

He said Witty’s defence was 'basically it’s a coincidence and they are all lying.'

However, he added: 'The common factor is the defendant. Yes there are differences between offences.

'But there are overlaps and similarities. The question for you is do they seem to describe the same man, the same manner, treating each in the same way?

'In general terms each of the women describe a man that can be charming, likeable, attractive, understanding, nice.

'But they say his personality changes and he’s volatile.

'They have a growing sense of unease and discomfort. They describe how these incidents develop at the hands of the defendant.

Brian Witty is on trial at Kingston Crown Court

Brian Witty is on trial at Kingston Crown Court

'His behaviour is such they don’t want to upset him. They put up with his uncomfortable and controlling behaviour because they hope it will pass.'

He noted Witty’s behaviour in the witness box to back up his point saying he had been 'reasonable, calm and plausible,' 'apologetic in tone'.

However, in cross examination he 'was hectoring, aggressive'.

He said the decision not to prosecute the first three rapes dating back 17 years to the mid-1990s had convinced Witty he was 'untouchable'.

He said: 'Time and again members of the jury, the CPS made a decision not to charge Brian Witty.

'Whatever the rights and wrongs of those decisions, you are concerned with the evidence in this trial.

'In that context, the importance of the decision not to charge in the first three cases, they confirmed in Brian Witty’s mind he was untouchable and could carry on how he wanted.'

He said since the first rapes, Witty 'had not modified his behaviour to avoid further accusations because he’s confirmed in his own mind he’s untouchable'.

Of the four women’s accounts, he continued: 'It suggests they describe the same man behaving in the same way time and time again.

'A man you saw behave just as they saw him behave, switching moods just as dramatic as you saw.

'I suggest the correct verdicts in this trial are those of guilty.'

However, Witty’s barrister Mark Milliken-Smith QC said each allegation had to be looked at separately, adding: 'It’s very easy to brand everything the same.

'There is a proper basis for you to conclude on the evidence each of the complainants were consenting or at the very least may have been consenting.

'You have been repeatedly told you may use the evidence in one count to see if it supports the evidence in another count.

'We suggest the Crown’s whole case as actually about and dependent on that legal direction.

'Witty is guilty not because the Crown in each count can prove the evidence is so compelling you can be sure of his guilt and say he simply can’t be telling the truth because there are four separate allegations.

'The only reason Witty has been charged with three old accusations ... is to utilise three weak cases to bolster a weak fourth. To fan the "no smoke without flames" fire.'

Mr Witty denies three rapes and one charge of sexual assault between 1995 and 2011.

The trial continues.

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