Prostitute in 'rape attack' tells Leicester court she's lucky to be alive
A prostitute told an attempted murder trial she was "lucky to be alive" after a client tried to strangle her to death during a violent rape attack.
The 31-year-old reluctantly agreed to go to an unfamiliar isolated spot with Arturas Ardavicius after he picked her up in the city.
She twice lost consciousness after he allegedly turned nasty and gripped her throat so tightly she blacked out.
Ardavicius (26), of Bonchurch Street, off Fosse Road North, Leicester, denies attempted murder and twice raping the woman, in the early hours of July 7.
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Mary Prior, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court that Ardavicius drove to a dirt track, off Richard III Road, near the River Soar and Kirby and West Dairy.
While they were having consensual protected sex in the car, the defendant allegedly put his hands around her throat, ignoring her pleas to stop, causing her to black out.
She twice regained consciousness to find out she was being raped, it was claimed.
Mrs Prior said: "He tried to kill her because he knew he'd raped her twice."
A police video of the alleged victim's account was played in court.
She told the officer: "I felt petrified. I thought I was going to die and he was going to kill me.
"He was 'getting off' on everything he was doing to me, he loved it, especially when he was strangling me, he was smiling.
"I've never been so scared, I was sobbing, gasping for air and couldn't breathe."
She said she told him she was pregnant. She said: "I was scared he was going to kill me and my unborn child."
She wept as she told a police officer that he appeared to "feel no pain" as she tried to fight him off, attacking his groin area.
She described the defendant grabbing her foot as she launched herself out of the car.
From the witness box in court, she told the jury: "I really think I'd be dead if I hadn't got out of the car, I know I would.
"I started to run. I could hear him behind me and he grabbed me. He grabbed my windpipe and stuck his fingers down my throat, like he was trying to rip my throat out.
"I was gagging and could feel myself passing out. I remember seeing bright lights and as soon as he saw the milk float he got up and ran off.
"He knew he'd been seen and what he did to me was wrong.
"The guy who came along saved my life. If he hadn't come along, I wouldn't be here."
She sought help from the milk float driver and a second dairy employee who arrived.
When arrested, Ardavicius, a Lithuanian national, initially denied any knowledge of the woman, saying he was drunk and slept in his car that night.
When told his DNA was on her clothing, he accepted picking her up for sexual activity, but claimed she stole money from his wallet and he ran after her and put her in a headlock.
The trial continues.