Police officer denies trying to rape woman in hotel room, court hears

A police officer accused of attempting to rape a fellow officer in a hotel room said he believed she was “playing hard to get” with him, a court has heard.

Sussex Police officer Daniel Julian, 46, denied using force or trying to rape the woman at a hotel in Kent on August 17, 2021, adding that it “wasn’t my plan” to have sex with her that night.

At a trial at Lewes Crown Court, prosecutors had said Julian shoulder barged his way into her room wearing only a towel and pinned her against the wall and tried to kiss her, before getting on top of her and trying to pull down her jogging bottoms.

Jurors heard from the alleged victim’s interview that she was scared and kept telling him no, but he “didn’t listen”.

She then secretly recorded part of the alleged attack as she saw her phone under the bed and she feared she was going to be raped, the court heard.

Julie Whitby, prosecuting, said: “At times she was laughing because she didn’t know what else to do, it was her way of coping.

“She managed to push him off, she kicked his towel after him.”

On Wednesday Julian said the woman let him into her room and he kissed her neck and gave her massage, which he believed she was consenting to.

He was also asked about comments heard in the recording, including hearing the woman saying he’s “got to go”.

Asked if he thought at that point he should leave, Julian said: “No because she’s still laughing, still making jokes and still being playful with me as if to be playing hard to get in a flirtatious way.”

The former blacksmith also said he was “just being playful” when he asked to see her breast, adding: “In hindsight obviously I regret it, but at the time it was two people having fun.”

He also denied bruising the woman, pinning her down or forcing her to engage in sexual activity with him during the incident.

Julian, of Pulborough, West Sussex, denies all charges of sexual assault, sexual activity without consent and attempted rape.

The trial continues.

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