GUILTY: Flat rapist convicted of sex attack

Steve Peter
Steve Peter

A man has been found guilty of raping a woman more than three years after he attacked her at a flat in Blackpool.

The jury took just one hour and 45 minutes to unanimously convict Steven Peter, 38, of raping the teenager after he met her in Flamingo’s nightclub just before Christmas 2012.

After the woman came forward to tell police she had been raped, Peter went on the run and a national media appeal was launched to find him.

During his trial at Preston Crown Court he claimed he had been avoiding the authorities because of his immigration status as a Nigerian national, and did not know he was suspected of rape.

He handed himself in to police on April 15 last year after a friend spotted his mugshot on Facebook.

During the trial the court heard a harrowing account of the night of December 23 when the woman - who was just 18 - found herself alone in the flat Peter shared with a friend in Park Road, Blackpool.

During a recorded police interview she had gone back to the flat with her friend, to stop her friend from going alone.

But alone in the living room, Peter forced himself on her, calling her ‘perfect white girl’ as she begged him to stop.

She said: “The more I asked him (to stop) the more aggressive he got. It was like I was feeding him.”

After the attack the woman went to find her friend and they left together in a taxi.

The court heard how the youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was crying when she caught the cab with her friend.

Her friend also had tears in her eyes when she learned what had happened, and took the girl home and helped her to bed.

Peter told the court he could not understand why the woman had been crying as she had consented to having sex with him.

He said she had enjoyed her evening with him.

However the jury dismissed his account as lies and found him unanimously guity of rape.

Peter, of no fixed address, has been remanded in custody and will return to court on May 18 to be sentenced.