Ex-Chester restaurant manager 'took away my dignity'


Staff reporter (Chester First)

A WOMAN has said an alleged paedophile “stripped away” her dignity when she was repeatedly raped by him.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was speaking on the third day of a trial at Chester Crown Court where Ramsey Ramsey, 79, former manager of the Bombay Palace restaurant on Upper Northgate Street, Chester.

Ramsey is accused of 37 sexual offences against five girls under 16 in the 1980s and ’90s. He denies any wrongdoing.

Yesterday, the jury heard evidence from two women who claimed to have been sexually abused by Ramsey.

The second alleged victim to give evidence told the court she had first met Ramsey when she was 14 after being taken to the restaurant by a friend following a swim at the Northgate Arena. She said she started to go there regularly and Ramsey eventually offered her a job.

She told the jury that at first things were normal but then Ramsey became more “tactile” and eventually began groping her behind the bar area. She would tell him to stop and bat his hands away from her but “any protests were ignored”.

After around three weeks she was asked to fetch an optics for the bar area from the storage room upstairs but instead she was pushed into a room and was raped by Ramsey.

She said: “I went upstairs and then I was pushed from behind into the bedroom. I was pushed onto the bed face down. I was then flipped over and I saw Ramsey. I screamed.

“My dress was ripped, my underwear torn off me and thrown to the end of the bed on to the floor.

“He put something over my head to stop me screaming again and blindfolded me and then he raped me.

“I had no dignity. It was stripped away from me just as easily as my clothes were taken off me and torn.

“Afterwards he told me to get cleaned up and not to forget the optics.”

After the first time she was raped, she left the Bombay Palace and ran home. She returned a few days later “just to pick up my handbag which I had left” but found Ramsey apologetic with flowers. She let him give her a lift home in his Jaguar and she was sexually assaulted again on the way home.

She told the court she continued to work at the restaurant and Ramsey then asked permission from her mother to take her shopping to Southport.

The alleged victim said she did not want to go to Southport with Ramsey but felt if she refused she would have to tell her mother about the abuse and she was “in a fragile mental state”.

She was taken to Southport on four occasions and repeatedly raped. The witness said her repeated pleas to stop were ignored saying “it was like he switched off”.

She said she finally came forward and told police about the allegations after seeing the media coverage of Jimmy Savile’s crimes.

Defence barrister Simon Mills asked the woman about her visiting the Bombay Palace on two occasions after she had moved away from Chester in her early 20s.

She told the court she was with her future husband at the time and he had wanted to go there and she had not told him of the abuse so she had to go in.

On the second occasion she was in the restaurant, Ramsey was in there and spoke to her husband and told him to “look after her”. She is a special girl.”

Mr Mills suggested it was just a normal visit. He put forward his case that the woman had known Ramsey from when she was about 15 but there had never been any sexual contact between the two.

Mr Mills also said Ramsey was invited to a house where there were four women there and the woman had offered him sexual services in exchange for money.

The witness replied: “Oh my gosh, you are reaching. You are gravely mistaken if you think I offered Ramsey sexual acts for money.”

Earlier in the day the jury heard from a witness who began giving evidence on Wednesday but had to be removed from court after she left the witness box and began shouting at the defendant.

Yesterday, defence barrister Simon Mills asked her about a sum of money she was given by Ramsey after she confronted him.

The woman told the court Ramsey offered her £1,000 at his home on Grange Road, Newton. She said this was then paid to her in instalments over a period of a few weeks.

She said Ramsey offered to give her the money after she went to his house and called him a “paedophile”.

Ramsey had invited her in and she began to complain that her life could have been different if she had never met him.

The witness claimed Ramsey gave her the money to go to visit her sister abroad despite her telling him she could not do so because of her criminal record.

Mr Mills asked the woman whether she had gone to extort money from Ramsey after she had heard about the allegations from a friend. He said that after receiving the initial £1,000 she had demanded £50,000 from Ramsey or she would go to the police.

Mr Mills said she had not used the money to visit her sister but “frittered it away”.

The woman agreed she had spent the money but had spent it on getting rid of debts. She denied trying to get money out of Ramsey and said he “offered it to me” after she went to see him and he told that another woman was trying “to get him done for rape”. She said she finally decided to go to the police when Ramsey told her he had not done anything wrong.

She said: “I told him I could never hate him because he was always kind to me. I asked him whether he thought he would go down and he said ‘no, I’ve not done anything wrong’.

“Fancy telling me that? I know what he’s done.”

Mr Mills asked her whether she would be seeking compensation after any possible conviction and the woman said “yes”.

Mr Mills also questioned whether she could be a reliable witness as she had an extensive criminal record and was a former prostitute.

He said she knew Ramsey because she used to tout for business in the Bombay Palace and sell drugs on the site and had never known him as a child.

The woman said she had never sold drugs on the site or worked as a prostitute at the site and told the court she had met Ramsey when she was 13.


See full story in the Chester Leader

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