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Accused admits sneaking into Peterhead woman’s home – but denies sexually assaulting her

The sign outside the Sheriff Court Annex and High Court building in Aberdeen
The trial is taking place at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

A man accused of a terrifying night-time sexual assault told police he was in the woman’s home but didn’t attack her.

Ramunas Smitras, 32, is standing trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court accused of sexually assaulting the woman in the early hours of April 27 2013.

A total of three women in Peterhead have accused Smitras of sexual assaults.

He is alleged to have attacked another woman at the town’s Caley Bar by repeatedly touching her on the body between March 1 and March 31 2013.

He is further accused of assaulting a third woman at Drummer’s Corner in Peterhead town centre by repeatedly seizing her and touching her on the body.

Smitras, a former welder, denies all the charges against him.

Police interview admission

During a police interview in the days following the alleged incident on April 27, Smitras admitted to officers that he had been inside the woman’s home as she slept but that he only did so because he “wanted cigarettes”.

The woman told the court last week that following the end of a house party she went to bed but was awoken at around 5am to discover a stranger – whom she identified as Smitras – in her bedroom with his trousers down.

The 33-year-old woman – who was 24 at the time of the alleged incident – described struggling with the intruder before breaking free of his grasp and barricading herself in the bathroom.

She eventually made a bolt for the front door but was again grabbed by the man and the two struggled into her living room, where she claimed he was trying to rape her.

The woman said she eventually broke free of her attacker and escaped into the street.

Accused admitted he went back to alleged victim’s home

During the evidence of Detective Sergeant Michael Reynolds, the court was shown an April 29 interview in which Smitras admits that he did knock on the woman’s door on two occasions during the house party but was told “no more people” were allowed in.

He told the officers he then went to a Latvian friend’s home where he drank whisky before falling asleep.

Smitras, a Lithuanian national, said he woke up around 8am on April 27 and “went to the house again”.

“I wanted cigarettes and thought people might be there,” he said.

He then told detectives that he entered the woman’s home through the back door, walked down the hallway and entered the bedroom “only a couple of steps” where he found the woman lying naked.

Smitras claims the woman woke as he entered the room and saw him, at which point got up and ran out of the property.

“I wanted to say something but she ran off,” he added.

Detective quizzed about caution

In response, DS Reynolds asked Smitras: “This girl has told us that you came into her bedroom and that when she woke up you were touching her under the covers?

“She said that you had your trousers down and were showing your private parts.”

“No, no, no,” Smitras replied.

DS Reynolds then put it to Smitras that a man matching his description went “straight into town” and sexually assaulted a second woman.

“No, no. No chance,” Smitras said.

During cross-examination, defence advocate Drew McKenzie quizzed DS Reynolds on why he hadn’t confirmed with Smitras that he understood the caution and charge he was given when the Lithuanian man gave no response.

“Surely if you didn’t get a response to the caution it’s your responsibility to check that he understands?

“The caution is telling the suspect essentially that he’s going to be asked questions but he doesn’t have to answer those questions – if you didn’t get an answer why didn’t you follow that up?”

“I’ve no answer to that,” DS Reynolds said.

The trial, before Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, continues.

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