A WOMAN confronted the man she accused of raping her when she spotted him with his wife in a Worcester cafe, a court heard.

The woman, who cannot be identified, gave evidence from the witness box at Worcester Crown Court yesterday, telling the jury that Richard Hirschfield raped her on a fire escape in the city 22 years ago.

Declining the use of a screen, the complainant said she was 16 and a ‘vulnerable’ and ‘troubled’ girl when she was raped outside the former Midland Shire Farmers building in The Butts in July 1998. But the 43-year-old defendant of Dilmore Lane, Fernhill Heath, denies rape.

He claims the sex was consensual and happened outside the building next door (Virginia House). The mother told the jury she put photos of Hirschfield on the table of the cafe in the Crowngate Shopping Centre where the defendant was sitting with his wife. She says the photos, of which she no longer has copies, were taken in the Paul Pry pub on the night of the alleged rape.

She said: “I said ‘you call your husband a fireman, I call him a rapist.’ I put them (the photos) down and I fled.”

The complainant, now in her late 30s, said she ‘legged it’ down the shopping centre escalator ‘chased’ by the defendant’s wife, describing herself as ‘terrified’, running into the mobility scooter shop and telling them to call police.

The woman had thought the confrontation happened the day after the rape though social services records suggested it happened 13 days later. In court she branded the defendant a ‘fantasist’ after it was revealed he had ‘masqueraded as a fireman’ before the alleged attack which she said occurred despite her telling him: “I don’t want to do this.”

The complainant accepted she had been drinking in the Paul Pry before the alleged rape which she said left her ‘very, very scared’ and was ‘etched in my mind forever’. Martin Butterworth, for Hirschfield, put it to her she was ‘lying’ about the rape to which she responded: “How dare you.”

She added: “I have lived with this for 22 years. It happened. It traumatised me.”

The barrister also put it to her that his client went to the police before her (the same day as the incident in the cafe) and that she had wanted ‘to see this man again.’ “In my nightmares,” she said.

The woman disputed that there had been a child present at the cafe.

When he put it to her that the rape did not happen she replied: “I absolutely wish it hadn’t happened.” The trial continues.