‘Hartlepool man posed as another for sex’, rape trial hears

editorial image

A MAN raped a woman by pretending to be another man, a court heard.

Richard Gallighan, 27, is accused of hiding his identity to have sex with the alleged victim on a sofa.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had just had consensual sex with another man on a couch.

Prosecutors claim that when the other man went to the toilet, Gallighan pretended to be him and got under the quilt.

Teesside Crown Court was told she had sex willingly but believed it was the other man and was left in a state of shock when she saw who it really was.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, told the jury: “This is a case about deceit. It involves the defendant pretending to be somebody else.

“When the victim in this case has sex with the defendant she thought he was someone else.”

After the girl and the other man had sex, he got a text message from Gallighan asking her to go upstairs.

The prosecution claim he was frustrated after earlier being brushed off by another woman and wanted to have sex with her.

She refused to go upstairs and fell asleep.

The jury was told shortly afterwards the other man went to the toilet and Gallighan got under the quilt and had sex with her.

Mr Newcombe said she thought the other man had returned, but added: “She was wrong.

“There were no lights on, the curtains drawn, it was dark in the room.

“He kept his head lowered as he approached her.

“This is why this is a deceitful, weasely rape.

“She thought she was having sex with a different person.”

The jury was told she only realised it was Gallighan afterwards when she saw he was wearing different coloured boxer shorts to the other man.

Mr Newcombe said she was “too shocked to speak” afterwards.

The prosecution say the level of distress she was seen in over the next few hours are important.

“If this was consensual sex as described by the defendant, why on earth would she be crying,” asked Mr Newcombe.

Gallighan admits having sex with the girl, but said they were all drunk and insists she knew who he was when they had sex.

He claims she said ‘come here’ to him and they cuddled for a while before having sex.

Gallighan, of Whinn Meadows, Hartlepool, denies one count of rape.

The trial continues.