A man accused of strangling two sexual partners during sex told a jury that extensive bruising around a girl’s neck was caused by lovebites, not choking.
Neil Scott-O’Connor, 24, is accused of choking both his 29-year-old ex-girlfriend and a 17-year-old girl he had a one night stand with, as well as assaulting them both and harassing and threatening to kill his ex.
He told a jury today that he had not been violent towards either of them and that he didn’t know why they were making the allegations.
The jury has also been told about a previous conviction he has for smashing up a car parked outside a 14-year-old girl’s house, where he pleaded guilty to criminal damage.
He had also been accused of threatening to slit the girl’s throat with a 12-inch knife during the same incident, when he was 15, but he was acquitted of that charge.
This morning at Brighton Crown Court, Scott-O’Connor was asked about the night in early December when the teenage girl had come to his house in Partridge Green.
The court has already heard that the morning after, she went to a friend in Crawley in distress and then told police he had choked her during sex and then assaulted her afterwards.
But Scott-O’Connor said that although he had given her lovebites on her cheek, neck and other parts of her body, he had never put his hands around her neck.
He said: “The only part of me that touched her throat was my mouth when I was giving her lovebites.”
The girl told police that he had taken her phone from her when she arrived at his house, and that he had shown her a horror film, I Spit on Your Grave, which involved rape and strangulation fantasies.
Scott-O’Connor told the court he had just suggested she put her phone away but that she had access to it, and that they had watched five minutes of the film before giving up because it was “killing the mood”.
He also denied assaulting the girl, or choking, assaulting, harassing or threatening to kill his ex-partner at her home in Brighton.
Of the hour-long phonecall in which his ex-partner says he made a series of harrowing threats to her and her two-year-old son, he said: “That didn’t happen. The phonecall was a mutual talking about mistakes we had made and apologising to each other. It was emotional, but not aggressive.”
He was also asked about his second police interview, during which the prosecution said he was “rude, offensive and confrontational,” particular to female officers, giving an insight into his character.
He said: “I was quite stressed and I didn’t realise the significance. I came across as quite arrogant. If I had time to be collected and calm, I would have entered the situation differently.
“It came across as arrogant as I didn’t believe I had done anything wrong. I was possibly embarrassed that it was around having sex – put up a defensive block.”