14 Oct 2008

Student will never forget accused's face, court told

9:57 pm on 14 October 2008

A woman who alleges she was raped by murder-accused Liam Reid has told the High Court in Christchurch she will never forget his face as long as she lives.

Mr Reid is charged with killing deaf woman Emma Agnew, 20, in Christchurch on 15 November and the rape and attempted murder of a female university student in Dunedin nine days later. He denies the charges.

The 22-year-old victim of the alleged rape in Dunedin told the court on Tuesday that she was raped repeatedly, punched and choked with a rope.

She said her attacker told her he had raped and killed before.

When asked to identify her attacker, she pointed at Mr Reid and said it took her about 10 seconds to pick his face from a photo montage during a police interview last year.

Defence lawyer David Bunce asked why she had not noticed heavy tattoos on her attacker's arms, hands, neck and chest.

But the woman said she was concentrating on his eyes and his face - and the memory of his face is never going to leave her.

Earlier, the court was told Mr Reid could not be ruled out as the driver of Ms Agnew's car - in spite of a lack of DNA evidence.

A pubic-like hair taken from the back seat of Ms Agnew's partially burned-out car has been identified as Mr Reid's.

Forensic scientist Rosalyn Rough said none of Mr Reid's DNA was found anywhere else in the car.

However, she told the court the fire had been lit under the driver's seat and destroyed the steering wheel, which is where DNA from a driver would most likely be found.