'Hapless' mugger denies sex attack in Little Bowden, near Market Harborough
A man who admits he mugged two women as they walked home at night has denied the attacks were sexually-motivated attempted abductions.
Peter Smith (33) told police he was short of money when he robbed the victims in separate attacks, in Little Bowden, near Market Harborough, and Desborough, Northamptonshire.
He is accused of attempting to kidnap the women for sexual reasons.
Prosecutor Mary Loram told Northampton Crown Court that a 23-year-old woman was walking home in Scotland Road, Little Bowden, at 7pm on November 17 last year when Smith pulled up in a black Renault Clio.
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"When he got out of the car, she became nervous and went down an alleyway towards a park area," said Miss Loram.
"The defendant followed her, approached her and pulled out a Stanley knife.
"He said this to her: 'Do what I tell you or otherwise I am going to stab you.'
"He told her to lie on the ground, which she did.
"He laid on top of her and seemed to be thrusting himself while on top of her. He tried to pull down her tights and skirt and she could tell he was aroused. But he was, in fact, quite hopeless and gave up.
"He got up and told her to get up, and said he was going to stab her.
"You might think pretty impressively, she grabbed his arm and realised she could overpower him and started to shout for help, so he ran away."
The jury was also told a 17-year-old walked past Smith sitting in his car in Desborough, at 8pm on February 18. He approached her, carrying a knife, and told her to get into his car.
The teenager managed to flag down a passing car and he fled, but she noted down part of his registration plate and he was arrested two hours later.
Smith was later picked out from an identity parade by the 23-year-old victim.
Miss Loram told the jury: "You are in an unusual position of not being asked to decide whether crimes were committed, but of having to decide which crime was committed.
"Is the defendant a hapless robber, or is this an attempt by him to limit the damage, to hide a much more worrying and sinister motive behind these assaults against these two young women?"
She said Smith said the women had "misinterpreted his actions".
But Miss Loram said Smith "did not actually steal anything" from the women, which "flies in the face of him being a robber".
She added: "And he has done it before, not robbery but kidnap of a young woman, in fact a girl."
Smith, of Rushton Road, Rothwell, Northamptonshire, is charged with possessing a Stanley knife, kidnap and sexual assault of the woman in Little Bowden, and attempted kidnap of the teenager in Desborough. He denies the charges.
The trial continues.