A MAN accused of rape was already a registered sex offender after being found with indecent photos of a 14-year-old girl, a court heard.

Lee Collins, 31, of Tunnel Hill, Worcester, denies two counts of rape and one of putting a person in fear of violence at his ongoing trial at Worcester Crown Court.

The jury heard yesterday how Collins had previously been to prison and was on the sex offender register after he was found with two indecent images of a child on his mobile phone. He previously said he believed the girl, aged 14, was 16.

Michael Hall, prosecuting, called the alleged rape victim’s mother, brother and best friend to give evidence. They have not been named to protect her identity.

Collins was confronted by members of the alleged victim’s family about his behaviour and her brother called him ‘a nonce’, the court heard.

Collins was said to have produced a ‘police cosh’ when challenged although the defendant disputes this. Jason Aris, for Collins, called this a lie.

The alleged victim’s mother said: “She became very withdrawn and thin. She stopped talking. She seemed like a frightened little girl.

“She was a shell of the person she used to be. She wasn’t my daughter. She wasn’t someone I recognised.”

The victim’s mother wept as she said how her daughter told her she had been to the railway line. When the alleged victim gave evidence the previous day she described how she had thoughts of taking her own life because of what the defendant had done to her.

The jury heard how Collins gave a ‘no comment’ first interview to police after his arrest but in a later interview claimed the sex between the two had been consensual.

He denied twice pulling off the victim’s trousers and forcing himself on her.

The defendant’s previous convictions include harassment (April 15, 2008), harassment causing fear of violence (April 13, 2011) and perverting the course of justice (October 2009).

Collins also has a conviction for failing to provide a sample during a test to establish whether there were class A drugs in his body.

The trial continues.