Crown alleges sex attacks after online meeting

Luke James Henry

A 43-year-old man is on trial charged with assaulting, kidnapping, and raping a woman he met on an online dating site.

Luke James Henry, pictured, denied nine charges as his week-long High Court trial began before Justice David Gendall and a jury.

Henry admitted two assault charges, which alleged he choked the woman and put his hands around her neck, but he denies four other charges of assaulting her, four charges of rape, and one of kidnapping.

Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said the two had met through an online dating site, but Henry proved to be “possessive, jealous, and controlling”.

The jury was told that Henry had been convicted of offences relating to the woman, including trespass and intimidation, but continued to contact her. When she spoke to Henry’s mother to get him to stop, Henry sent her a text calling her a “snitch bitch”.

He also sent a text to an associate saying he was going to “track down the woman and smash her over”. He then sent her 88 texts and went to her home.

Mr Hawes said the woman would give evidence by closed-circuit video, and by recorded video interviews, about the incident in September 2016. She would say Henry had taken away an alarm system, her cellphone, and landline, and told her she was a “hostage” at her house.

She would say he raped her several times, and she had not fought back because “putting up a fight was not going to help her”, Mr Hawes said. Acquiescence to sex because of fear was “not true consent”. The woman would also say she was assaulted and strangled.

After midnight, when an associated texted Henry to ask what he was up to, he replied: “I’m holding someone against their will.”

The woman eventually got a message out to someone who could help, and the police arrived. Henry sped away from the property in a car and the police abandoned the pursuit because of the danger, but he was found and arrested two days later.

The trial is continuing.

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