Mum thought man who broke into her home was going to kill her, jurors told

Derek Johnston on the rooftop last July.

Derek Johnston on the rooftop last July.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter

A MOTHER has described how she feared a man who broke into her home was going to kill her while her children played upstairs.

The woman told jurors at Southampton Crown Court how she was pinned to the floor of her garage and attacked by Derek Johnston, who she claims broke into her home before sexually assaulting her.

The incident led to a stand-off with police as Johnston, 41, of no fixed abode, fled to the roof of the Southampton house, from where he refused to come down, the court was told.

A video recording of the woman describing the attack to a police officer was played to the jurors at the trial of Johnston, who denies two counts of sexual assault, one count of rape and another of attempted rape.

When asked how she felt when the alleged attack was happening, she said: “I thought he was going to kill me.

“I could hear my children running around upstairs and I thought I would be lying dead downstairs and no one would know.”

She described to the court how throughout the attack, on July 9 last year, Johnston held his hand around her throat and neck and at one point stuffed something into her mouth to stop her crying out.

It was when the woman’s mother arrived at the front door to babysit the children that the victim managed to bite Johnston’s hand and cry out for help, jurors were told.

In her police interview, the woman said this prompted Johnston to run upstairs, giving her the chance to escape out of the front door.

Her mother and another woman then went back into the house at Gainsborough Road to get the children out and they noticed that the door to a bathroom was locked.

Jurors heard that Johnston had in fact made it on to the roof through a bathroom skylight.

Despite attempts by police to talk to Johnston, who was at times threatening to jump, he refused to come down and remained there overnight.

The court heard how he was arrested the following day by police officers, who found him hiding in a bed inside the house after an initial search of the property that morning had failed to locate him.

Johnston is also accused of raping the woman and attempting to rape her on two previous occasions.

Proceeding.

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