AN ALLEGED rape victim was put through the trauma of cross examination for a second time after police withheld evidence about an affair she was having.

The 46-year-old mum-of-three had told officers she was having an affair with a neighbour at the time she was allegedly raped by university graduate Oliver Ward, Oxford Crown Court heard.

But a WPc told her the information was "not relevant" - and the evidence was not later made available to defence solicitors, the court was told.

Yesterday, the woman was forced to return to court to be cross examined again two days after her initial evidence when the affair came to light.

Judge Tom Corrie told the jury: "She will be questioned about some material the police failed to disclose, although it was available in July last year.

"It is an error by the police and nothing to do with the Crown Prosecution Service or counsel. It is material that is capable of relevance and you are going to hear about it now."

The woman had earlier told the court that Ward, 29, of Toot Baldon, near Garsington, grabbed her round the neck and raped her in a secluded spot, off Park End Street, in Oxford, in the early hours of July 11 last year. Ward, who had been on an all-day stag party with friends, claimed she consented to sex and had a reputation for being promiscuous.

Under initial cross examination from Tyrone Belger, defending, she was forced to admit having 'group sex' with two of Ward's friends after a party the month before.

She claimed it was a "one off incident that I totally regret" and said: "I am a happily married woman who is not in the habit of going off with men I do not know very well."

In the witness box a second time, the woman admitted she was having an affair with a married neighbour between March and August last year. She told the court: "I was told it was not relevant by the officer who took the state- ment."

When asked why she had told the court she was a happily married woman, she replied: "I did not think it was relevant to this case."

The woman had to be helped out of the courtroom by a woman police officer after giving evidence.

A jury was expected to retire to consider its verdict today.

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