THE trial of a Northwich man charged with trying to rape his neighbour has started at Chester Crown Court.

Brandon Bentley, of Victoria Road, is accused of luring his then neighbour into his car via social media, which was parked outside the Crewe apartment complex they shared in November 2021.

The complainant told police he claimed to be suicidal in a Facebook conversation with her on November 13, 2021, following the recent death of his nan.

She claims the 26-year-old used this as a pretext to get her into his car where he sexually assaulted her.

He then followed her to her nearby flat, she said, where he tried to rape her.

Bentley denies having any contact with her that day other than ‘saying hi’ from inside his car parked outside her flat as she was smoking out of her window.

However, police investigating found his semen on her underwear, which he claims she must have transferred from a ‘stained t-shirt' he kept in the back of his car.

In his opening speech to the jury on Monday, February 19, prosecutor, Oliver King, invited them to ‘dismiss Bentley’s desperate theory’ of how the semen got on her clothing.  

Mr King said Bentley subjected the complainant to a ‘prolonged sexual assault’ and then tried to rape her.

She could also describe ‘an unusual tattoo’ on his chest, and police found a bite mark on his arm consistent with her description of how she tried to defend herself.

Police also found a message from his partner at 4.19am on November 14, which said ‘so who are you spending your time with, you lying, cheating c**t?’, suggesting he wasn’t at home when the alleged attempted rape took place.

A hand-delivered note was pushed through his alleged victim's letterbox the following day which said ‘sorry xxx’, which she believes came from Bentley.

She reported him to the police on November 15 and he was arrested on November 16.

He was later charged with one count each of attempted rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, and causing someone to engage in sexual activity against their will. 

He denied all four charges at a hearing at Chester Crown Court on October 7, 2022, and was given conditional bail pending the trial. 

After his opening speech, Mr King played the jury evidence in the form of a recording made during an interview with the complainant by Cheshire Police in March, 2022. 

The trial continues.