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City girl was victim of ordeal in car, court hears.

A 49-year-old man accused of carrying out a series of rapes across south-east England asked a ten-yearold girl to 'pretend that they were lovers', a court heard.

Antoni Imiela forced the girl into his car at knifepoint as she was walking to a friend's house in Birmingham, Maidstone Crown Court was told yesterday.

The alleged attack came just two days after Imiela had given a DNA sample to officers investigating the other attacks who had called at his home in Appledore, near Ashford, Kent.

Railway worker Imiela denies nine counts of rape against the three girls under 16 and five women between November 2001 and October 2002. One women was allegedly raped twice.

He also denies the kidnap, indecent assault and attempted rape of the tenyear-old in Birmingham on November 21, 2002.

Mark Dennis, prosecuting, said in the Birmingham attack the girl was bundled into a car at knifepoint before being driven around for several hours and repeatedly sexually abused.

He added that during the attack, the girl had described how the man had 'almost a dual personality', sometimes being nice to her and asking her to call him by the name Tony and at other times using bad language and threats of violence.

Mr Dennis added: 'He insisted that she should pretend that they were lovers and that she should show she was enjoying it.'

He said the attacker attempted to rape her in the back of the car at one point but was unable to, and instead forced her to perform a sex act.

She was later dropped miles away from home and given pounds 10 for a taxi, the court heard.

Mr Dennis said that Imiela's movements had been traced from his home in Kent towards Birmingham that day by looking at mobile phone records, credit card transactions, and sightings of his car by an automatic number plate recognition system.

Despite her ordeal the girl managed to give police a description of the car consistent with the Citroen driven by Imiela, as well as picking him out in a later video identification parade.

Mr Dennis said that 12 days after the attack Imiela was arrested as he drove along the M20 in Kent. Two hairs matching the DNA profile of the girl were found on the backseat, Mr Dennis told the jury.

Imiela was taken to a police station in Folkestone and searched. Officers found a lock knife and an unused condom in his wallet.

The trial continues.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 20, 2004
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