Rape suspect claims sex was consensual

A woman who claims she was tied up and raped by Bellambi man Lancelot Hampton Edwards has denied suggestions by his lawyer their interaction was consensual sex "featuring light bondage".

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has accused Edwards of binding each leg, tying them together and using a cigarette lighter to burn parts of her body before raping her in the bedroom of her northern Illawarra home on June 7 last year.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual assault on Monday at the start of his trial in Wollongong District Court.

The alleged victim gave evidence on Monday that she and Edwards were acquaintances who had met through the woman's sister a few months before the incident.

She said Edwards turned up unannounced at her home on the evening of June 7 - which she said he'd done on previous occasions - and was still there when she went to bed later that night.

"I went to bed alone; I left him hoping he would leave," she said, adding she'd had trouble getting him to leave her property previously.

The woman told the court she woke later that night to discover Edwards on her bed, using scissors to cut at her leggings before ripping them, and her underwear, from her body.

She alleged Edwards tightly bound her legs (separately), using a belt and a piece of fishnet-style lingerie, before tying them together.

She said he then burned her skin with the lighter, before he loosened the material holding her legs together, and raped her.

The woman claimed Edwards ignored her when she repeatedly asked him to stop and said at one stage she feared he was going to kill her.

However, Edwards' lawyer, David McCallum, yesterday suggested to the woman that she'd been a willing participant in the interaction.

"I suggest you both retired to bed at 11pm, you both then removed your clothing before getting into bed ... [and that] Mr Edwards tied that article of clothing around each of your legs ... as a feature of the consensual intercourse you had with him that night," he said. "I suggest the intercourse featured a form of light bondage with you being tied with that item [of clothing]."

The woman rejected each assertion, maintaining the sex was not consensual.

She also denied Mr McCallum's suggestions that the marks on her body could be the result of illegal drug use, or that she may have accidentally burned herself while smoking in bed.

"I don't smoke in bed ... my ex-partner smoked in bed," the woman said when shown pictures of apparent burn marks on her doona.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict this afternoon.

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