Woman ‘so scared’ during alleged rape, court told

A woman has told a court she was “so scared” when she was allegedly raped by a man who now identifies as a transgender woman.

Isla Bryson, 31, from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow accused of raping two women, one in Clydebank in 2016 and one in Drumchapel, Glasgow, in 2019.

She is also accused of telling the alleged victim in 2016 to wash the sheets and threatening the woman’s family in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice.

She denies the charges and has lodged special defences claiming the sex was consensual.

She also denies a further charge of punching the second alleged victim.

The court heard in agreed evidence that Bryson now identifies as a transgender woman and was previously known by the “dead name” Adam Graham.

Giving evidence on pre-recorded video, one alleged victim, 30, said she was raped for half-an-hour while they were in bed at her mother’s home in Clydebank.

“All I said was ‘no’ over and over and over again,” she said.

“At the time I was so scared. Sick to the stomach. I just didn’t know what was going on.”

She said the accused later threatened her family with harm if she told anyone.

The witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said after the alleged rape they both fell asleep and did not speak until the morning as she was “scared”.

She denied they spoke about redecorating her mother’s kitchen immediately afterwards.

She also denied initiating sexual contact and kissing the accused goodnight following the alleged rape.

She said they spent the following day together and redecorated her mother’s kitchen.

The witness said she spoke to police days later after telling her sister.

The second alleged victim told the court the accused continued to have sex with her after she said stop.

Giving evidence via live video-link, the 34-year-old said they met on the social media app Bigo, where the accused was named DJ Blade.

She said they met days after chatting and the day after first meeting in June 2019, they were at her home in Drumchapel watching soaps.

She told the court she suggested they watch TV in the bedroom and she asked the accused to wait while she changed into her pyjamas.

She said the accused took his clothes off and removed her pyjama bottoms to perform a sex act she consented to, but she told him to stop as he was biting her.

The court heard from her police statement that he entered her and she told him to stop as he was “crushing” her.

The statement said the accused told her to “stay there” because he “wasn’t finished”.

She told the court: “I said to stop but he just kept on going, and that’s when I just closed my eyes and I am doing what he wanted to do.”

The witness said that afterwards, she went to another room as she did not want to be in the same room as him.

She said in the morning, the accused had a shower and then sat in the living room.

She told the court he accused her of looking at him in a funny way, punched her in the back, leaving bruises, then left in a taxi.

Under cross-examination by defence advocate Edward Targowski KC, the witness said she had consensual sex with the accused the day before the alleged rape.

He put to her that she never had any sex that was not consensual and that she was not punched, both of which she denied.

She said: “I’m not going to say at any given time there was no rape because I’m telling you he raped me on that Thursday night.”

She said she “lied” to the police about how she met the accused, saying they met at Clydebank Shopping Centre when he asked her for a light, but later said they met on Bigo.

She said she did this as she did not want a family member to find out they met on social media.

She also denied taking about “sexuality issues” with the accused.

The trial, before Judge Lord Scott, continues.