Woman tells of ordeal at hands of man accused of Bridlington landlady murder

John Heald
John Heald
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A WOMAN allegedly raped by a man standing trial for the murder of a Bridlington guesthouse landlady had described her harrowing ordeal at the hands of her knife-wielding attacker.

The woman from Sheffield was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of John Heald, who is accused of murdering 49-year-old Bei Carter in Bridlington last July while on the run from the police.

Bei Carter

Bei Carter

In a DVD played to the jury at Hull Crown Court she described how she was forced to put on underwear and was then raped at knifepoint in the bedroom. She was then taken to other rooms in her house where she was also assaulted, before he fell asleep and she made her escape.

At one point she was gagged with gaffer tape but tore it off when she couldn’t breathe.

He also punched her in the face three times with his fist leaving her with a broken lip, the court was told.

She said she was “scared stiff”: “I was saying I’d done nothing wrong. I kept saying I have done absolutely nothing wrong.”

She went on: “He just kept waving the knife.

“I was so focussed on the knife,” she added.

When he fell into a deep sleep, she grabbed some clothes and ran out of the house making her way on foot to a police station where friends met her and she reported the attack.

Cross-examined by Tahir Khan QC, defending, the woman, who was giving evidence from behind screens, said she had been “a bit shocked” to find Heald asleep on her doorstep when she returned home after a night out.

Mr Khan claimed the sex was consensual, at one point describing part of her account as “pure fantasy.”

He said: “You have said in evidence that he pushed you on the bed, threatened you with a knife and then pulled out some stockings and suspenders and forced you to put them on - that’s all made up isn’t it?”

She replied: “No”.

He went on: “There was no knife and no threats - you were the one who, as it were, made the running by standing in those stockers and suspenders and essentially inviting him to have sex with you - that’s right isn’t it?”

“That’s totally untrue,” she replied.

He also challenged her over him punching her, saying: “You talk about him hitting you to the side of your face with a knife and talk about feeling the knife touch your face a number of times.

“Do you have any nicks or cuts or grazes from the knife?”

She replied: “No.”

Heald, 53, denies three counts of rape and the murder.

A friend told the court how distraught the alleged victim was when she called her in the early hours of the morning as she walked to the police station.

She said: “When I answered the call she was struggling to speak.

“At first she was very distressed and upset. She said my name. I could tell something was really wrong.

“I proceeded to say what’s wrong and are you OK?

“She was crying and trying to speak and then eventually she spoke.

“She said she was on her way to the police station and that he had held her at knifepoint and forced her to have sex in each room of the house and that he had repeatedly hit her and that he’d managed to get out of the house when he had rested on the bed with the knife with him.”

She said her friend had been in such a rush to get out of the house that she was still in the undergarments that he’d told her to wear.

Only when she had locked the door behind her she put on the clothes she’d managed to grab from the floor.

Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, asked her how her friend appeared.

She said: “She is normally such a bubbly girl and she was so within herself.

“She could barely walk properly. She was just a shadow of her former self, very inward, very upset. She was still struggling to try and speak properly, she had got a busted lip and you could see some swelling to her face, I believe it was the left side.”

The case continues.