Teenage girl admits kissing Emmerdale star Ben Freeman before 'rape'

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Accused: Ben Freeman arriving in court in Barbados today

The teenager who claims Emmerdale star Ben Freeman raped her admitted today that she had 'deliberately omitted' to tell a court that she had kissed him before the alleged assault.

Freeman, 28, is accused of raping the young British tourist on a poolside sun lounger while both were on holiday at the same hotel in Barbados almost two years ago.

He denies the charge, having insisted to police that sex was consensual, the High Court in Bridgetown heard.

Under questioning from Freeman’s attorney, the attractive 17-year-old – who was 16 at the time - admitted to a number of inconsistencies between her statement to police shortly after the event and her dramatic court testimony on Monday.

The girl had told the court that she had seen Freeman, who played mechanic Scott Windsor in the TV soap, in the early hours on his own by a pool and went to talk to him.

They jumped into the pool and had a bit of 'horseplay', before going for a walk on the beach.

It is then she has claimed the accused started to 'touch her' – and she walked faster to get away from him.

She said they then went into another pool for a 'laugh' but that Freeman then kissed her, placed her on a sun lounger and pinned her down. He raped her despite her 'crying' and 'screaming' for him to stop, she claimed.

Anesta Weekes QC, defending, asked the girl if she had admired or been attracted to Freeman and whether she had wanted to meet him after she saw him at the hotel, but she strongly denied the suggestions.

The defence attorney then quoted from her police statement, which read: 'Never before had I met Ben in person so I was hoping that I would have the opportunity to meet him during my stay at the hotel.'

Another excerpt read: 'I really admired the way he looked. He was handsome.'

Explaining the discrepancy, the girl told the court: 'I can’t remember how I said it, I didn’t admire him one bit. It was just the shock that someone I knew from television I was seeing where I was staying.

'I had just had something happen that was very traumatic, so I wasn’t thinking straight.'

Ms Weekes put to the girl that when she was found by her step-mother she told her the two of them had 'had sex' and had not mentioned the word rape.

But she said: 'Not at one point did I just say we had sex. I told her we had sex and he wouldn’t listen to me when I said ‘no’.'

Going over the night of the incident, the girl acknowledged she had paid a lot of attention to Freeman and approached him when she saw he was alone, having earlier left the bar with another woman.

Ms Weekes said: 'You like him. You fancy him. And he was on his own.'

The girl replied: 'I don’t fancy him and I didn’t at the time. It was just out of politeness. I wanted to know where (the other woman) had gone.'

Ms Weekes asked: 'How do you spend about an hour alone with a man on your own at about 3 in the morning and you don’t fancy him?'

'I’m a friendly person,' she said.

She was then asked why she told police they had walked 'slowly' on the beach, but told the jury this week she had been 'walking quickly' to 'get away from him'.

'I may have said that but I can’t remember,' she said.

Ms Weekes added: 'It is obvious that if you really wanted to get away from this man you could have run and raised an alarm.'

She replied: 'I didn’t think anything of him putting his hand around my waist. I thought he was being friendly… I just felt a little uncomfortable.'

She then insisted she did not give Freeman 'any signs that I liked him and if he had shown me any signs he liked me I hadn’t picked up on them.'

Ms Weekes said: 'To kiss a man would be a real sign you like him.

'Your evidence was that when he kissed you, you pushed him away. Did you tell police you returned his kiss, that you kissed him back?'

'Yes,' the girl replied.

The girl added: 'But I didn’t expect that to happen, it was a shock that this man had just kissed me.'

When asked if she had 'deliberately omitted to tell the jury' about that during her evidence, she said 'yes, ma’am.'

The girl then agreed Freeman was not aggressive 'at all' as he placed her on a sun lounger before having sex, despite having told the jury the previous day he had 'pinned her down'.

Despite being surrounded by buildings, no guests in the hotel reported any screams for help during the incident, the court has heard.

Asked how that was so, the girl said: 'I was not screaming to the extent that I was screaming out.

'I was crying and how I was crying I would call it as screaming a bit, but not as loud as anyone can hear me. I can’t scream that loud.

'It’s physically impossible for me to shout in a way that other people would hear. I remember telling him to stop… Whether it was loud or not he should have stopped.'

Asked why she did not raise an alarm with a tourist who walked in on them she said she was afraid Freeman would drown her in the pool.

'The first thought that got in my head, I thought if I tried to get away he would have got me in that swimming pool and drowned me.'

The trial continues.


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