Hartlepool man denies raping woman and teenager
A 66-year-old Hartlepool man has told a jury he had not raped two women several decades ago.
Jeffrey Waite is accused of raping a woman four times and a teenager once.
Both alleged victims said they felt unable to report the incidents at the time.
A jury at Teesside Crown Court heard police became involved after one of the women had counselling for mental health and other personal problems.
She mentioned to the counsellor about being raped many years earlier, and she said the man who had done it was involved in the taxi trade.
The counsellor felt duty bound to tell the police because the alleged perpetrator was serving the public, the court was told.
Waite, who operated ice cream vans, is alleged to have plied the teenager with alcohol at a workingmen's club before buying her more drink at nightclub in Hartlepool.
She said she was then taken in a taxi to a house and raped.
"We used to go to the club now and again on a Saturday or Sunday," Waite told the jury.
"But that was with my wife."
He said he had been to the club 'maybe once or twice' when he was young, but 'never been there with a young woman'.
The alleged victim told the jury she spoke to a friend in the nightclub in a bid to get away from Waite.
Police traced the friend, but he described himself as 'a drunk', and said he couldn't remember an evening in the nightclub so long ago.
Waite said he knew the house where the alleged rape took place, but he had no key to it at the time.
Simon Reevell, prosecuting, asked Waite why the alleged victims were still frightened of him.
"We saw shaking and tears when they gave their evidence," said Mr Reevell.
"You frightened those women when you raped them, and you are still frightening them now."
Waite said he had no idea why the women appeared frightened of him.
"I didn't rape anyone," Waite.told the jury.
Waite, of no fixed abode, denies five charges of rape.
Judge Sean Morris told the jurors they would hear closing submissions from prosecution and defence lawyers on Friday, and he would sum the case up next Tuesday.