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Sex Attack Victim Tells Court Of "Surge" That Saved Her

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
A 22-year-old woman has told of the moment when she says Liam James Reid was strangling her and she decided: "I'm not going to die here. This person is not going to kill me."

After being punched, choked, threatened and enduring a long sex attack, she told of having a massive surge of adrenaline and strength just as everything started to go black.

"I grabbed his testicles and squeezed them and twisted as hard as I could," she told Justice Lester Chisholm and a jury in the High Court at Christchurch today.

She had no idea what happened next but she remembered running to her flat in Dunedin and being helped by her flatmate and the police being called.

The woman, a student now living in Australia, gave her evidence on the seventh day of the trial of 36-year-old Reid, who denies being the man who attacked her.

He denies charges of rape, sexual violation, robbery and attempted murder from the Dunedin attack, and also raping and murdering Christchurch woman Emma Agnew in an earlier attack.

The woman told of drinking with friends on a Friday night before walking home "pretty drunk" to save a taxi fare and walk off the alcohol.

She became aware of someone walking with her but had no concerns while they talked about "meaningless subjects".

Suddenly he grabbed her by the hair and punched her in the head and face, very hard, five or six times. She said she was a sportswoman, but the blows were much harder than any she had received playing sport.

"They were meant to hurt. They were meant to cause damage to me," she said.

When somebody came by the man forced her into a dark corner and threatened to kill her if she yelled out. He then dragged her by the hair up some steps, across a carpark and into a bush area.

"He told me if I was a good girl he would let me live," she said.

"He said it wasn't about power. It was about sex and I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

The man was constantly threatening her and put a noose around her neck which he would pull tight.

He told her he had already raped and killed someone else.

He took her clothes off, took his own clothes off, and then raped her vaginally, and anally, and penetrated her with his fingers. He also punched her hard in the vagina at least twice, she told the court.

"I remember trying to reason with him, talk to him as a human being, asking him to let me go. Trying to talk to him to see if there was someone in there. It didn't have any effect. He just told me to shut up."

She said her attacker allowed her to get dressed but became angry when he could not find the rope that had been put on the ground. He then attacked her again, straddled her on the ground and tried to strangle her, and that was when she fought back and broke free.

The woman gave evidence from behind a screen, in a cleared courtroom, but the screen was drawn back so that she could see Reid and point him out in court. "Yep, that's him," she said.

She had already told how she picked his picture out of a police photo-montage. She said it took only about 10 seconds to identify Reid among the pictures.

"I am never going to forget that face as long as I live. I saw his face, and that face is never going to leave me, ever."

She was shown photographs of the extensive bruises to her head, body, arms and legs, as well as scrapes and cuts that she received in the attack. There were parallel scratches on her neck caused by the noose and she had a swollen throat which caused pain and difficulty talking for at least a week.

She was cross-examined about how she had not noticed Reid's distinctive tattoos -- defence counsel David Bunce described them as "the main distinguishing thing about him".

She replied that she did not find tattoos offensive and did not make note of them, instead concentrating on looking at her attacker's face when he got aggressive.

"Tattoos don't send off warning signs to me. I'm not worried about them," she said. (Proceeding)

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