South Yorkshire rape accused ‘not fit to stand trial’

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A SOUTH Yorkshire man accused of sexually assaulting and raping a teenager as she walked her dog has been deemed unfit to stand trial.

Sheffield Crown Court ruled Kevin Wood, aged 35, of Ward Street, Penistone, was mentally unfit to enter a plea as a retrial into a sex attack on a young girl was due to start. The jury must now decide if he committed the act.

His alleged victim was just 16 in May 2010, when the attack took place. The girl, now 19, relived the incident as footage of the first police interview was played to the jury - while she watched via a videolink in a separate room in the court.

She said she had been out walking her dog for around 40 minutes when she passed her attacker - who was wearing a black hooded top - going in the opposite direction.

Seconds later he turned, came up behind her, and shoved her into a trailer.

She said: “My head felt like it was bursting. It was not until the man reached for my joggers that my brain switched on and I realised what he was doing.”

Wood is alleged to have hit the teen over the head using a stick or a similar object, causing her to black out.

Sophie Drake, prosecuting, told the jury: “You will hear that when she came round, she found the defendant was having sex with her.”

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the victim told her mother and police that she had been sexually assaulted. It was not until several months later, when she was becoming withdrawn and struggling to sleep, that she told her mum she had been raped.

Almost a year after the attack, a witness from the woods on the day of the attack raised the alarm when she recognised a shopper in a Penistone supermarket as the alleged attacker. The store’s CCTV footage led police to identify him as Wood.

Ms Drake said: “The victim was re-interviewed in June 2011 and it was in this interview she told police she had been raped.”

The victim is due to give evidence from behind a screen in court today.

n Rape Crisis: freephone 0808 802 9999