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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 15:39 GMT
Woman 'raped and left for dead'
A man has denied leaving a naked woman for dead under a van after raping her as she walked home from a night out, a Devon court has heard.

The 48-year-old victim was found unconscious in Redlands Close in the Whipton area of Exeter on 22 July 2006.

The court was told she suffered life-threatening injuries and is likely to be left with permanent disabilities.

Jakub Tomczak, 24, from Poland, pleaded not guilty at Exeter Crown Court to rape and causing grievous bodily harm.

'No memory'

Prosecutor William Hart told the jury: "We say she was attacked, raped, dragged and dumped and left for dead."

He said the victim's clothing was scattered around the area and some damage to it suggested "violent removal".

He said the injuries sustained by the woman had left her with no memory of what had happened.

He said she was punched or struck with an object to the face and fell to the ground where she struck her head on the pavement suffering a skull fracture and brain damage.

"She has physically recovered to some extent but has what are likely to be permanent disabilities," he told the jury.

Mr Hart said the attack must have happened after 0300 BST on July 23, and at 1145 the same day her naked and unconscious body was spotted under a van.

"The injuries suggested she had been dragged to and left under the van by her attacker."

DNA sample

Mr Hart said the previous evening the victim had been out in Exeter with friends and at about 0200 BST parted from them and started walking home.

He said the defendant, who is from Poznan in Poland, was also out in the city with his sister and friends and later by himself and his movements could be tracked by the analysis of images from CCTV cameras across the city.

Mr Tomczak returned to Poland where, four months after the attack, he voluntarily gave a DNA sample to local police at the request of UK officers.

The sample was analysed in the UK, where it matched the DNA profile taken from semen found on the victim.

Mr Tomczak was brought back to the UK under a European arrest warrant. The case continues.

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