A UNIVERSITY student raped a woman as she lay sleeping in a bed, a court heard.

A jury was told today that Niall McPaul later messaged his alleged victim and described what had happened that morning as 'inexcusable really.'

The 27-year-old of Headley Way, Oxford, denies one count of rape alleged to have taken place in April 2017 in Oxford.

As his trial began at Oxford Crown Court today prosecutor Matthew Walsh said that the alleged victim - who cannot be named for legal reasons - woke up to find McPaul having sex with her.

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Mr Walsh said that as the woman began to realise what was happening she 'panicked' and asked McPaul 'are we having sex?'

He said that McPaul responded by saying he thought she was 'into it' and then stopped what he was doing before leaving.

Jurors were told that she had made her position clear the night before and said to him 'I don't want to have sex with you'.

The jury was also read a selection of messages the pair exchanged afterwards.

In one such exchange, prosecutors said, the woman claimed that if she had been awake she would not have agreed to sex.

One message read to the court from McPaul stated 'as for this morning I think it's inexcusable really.'

Mr Walsh said of the messages: "What the prosecution say they amount to, what they show, is a contrite or apologetic person realising just how bad his behaviour has been."

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The jury also saw a section of a recorded police interview which the woman gave shortly after her alleged ordeal.

In that video she told officers: "I specifically remember saying that I didn't want to have sex with him.

"We both were in bed I think I woke up by my radio alarm and it took me a couple of minutes to realise what was going on because it was such a complete shock."

She described feeling 'panicked' and said she was 'confused' and added: "I didn't understand how that had happened."

Speaking of McPaul's reaction she told police that he looked 'surprised' before saying 'I thought you were into it.'

Prosecutors went on to tell jurors that the issue they had to decide was that of consent.

He said: "[McPaul] was on top of her and she came to in a confused state.

"In fact as you will hear in this case there is no argument between the prosecution and defence about one thing - that the defendant had penetrated her vagina with his penis.

"That had taken place, he accepts that.

"What is an issue is firstly whether she was consenting to that, agreeing to it taking place, and if not, if she was not consenting, whether the defendant reasonably believed that she was."

Jurors were also told that during his first interview with police McPaul declined to answer any questions but later spoke to officers at a second interview.

During that interview, prosecutors said, he accepting having sex with the woman but claimed that he 'believed that she was consenting.'

He also denied any suggestion that the woman was asleep at the time, the jury was told, and as soon as he became aware that she was objecting he stopped.

McPaul denies the charge and the trial continues.