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Pimp carried out reign of violence, raping and torturing women, jury told.

Byline: Jane Tyler

A man carried out a reign of violence on 12 women across the West Midlands, raping, beating and torturing them, a jury heard yesterday.

Ten of Ashley Wright's victims were prostitutes, one was a family friend and another a woman he met in a nightclub, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

Wright, who worked as a pimp and bouncer, called the women 'dogs' and 'pieces of meat' as he raped and beat them, it was alleged.

Wright (43), of Maple Court, Bolas Avenue, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, has denied 13 charges of rape, two robberies, two charges of assault, one of false imprisonment and a final count of assault with intent to commit a serious sexual offence.

Julia Macur QC, prosecuting, told the jury: 'He is a multiple rapist, a man who uses his strength, mental pressure and intimidation to get his way.'

She said two of his victims were prostitutes who Wright befriended, became their boyfriend and then made himself their pimp.

'He wooed them, made them feel special,' Miss Macur said. 'But soon they were being beaten, punished, locked in a flat and deprived of food and sleep and not allowed to use the toilet.'

Other victims were prostitutes who he picked up on the streets, she said. 'They were prostitutes, as far as he was concerned, pieces of meat, worthless,' she told the jury. Another of his victims was not a prostitute but a girl he met while working as a bouncer at a Birmingham nightclub.

At first, Miss Macur said, he was 'the perfect gentleman' but soon changed and started beating her and insisting she walk with her head down when they were in public together.

Wright's reign of violence came to an end in January last year when police were called to his flat in Sutton Coldfield and found an 18-year-old woman who told them he had kept her prisoner there for six weeks.

The woman, who knew Wright as a family friend, said he had raped her, persistently beaten her, subjected her to torture, forced him to 'marry' her in a Muslim ceremony.

Wright denied all the women's allegations, saying the sex in all cases was consensual. He said the women were colluding with West Midlands Police in a 'put up job' to get him locked up.

The trial continues.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 12, 2002
Words:388
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