Former Oxford PhD student arrested after he texted his alleged victim, apologising for rape


A former Oxford PhD student has been arrested for rape after he sent his alleged victim a message apologising for the attack a year later, a jury has heard.

Sherman Ip – who is now enrolled at Warwick University – has a Master’s degree from UCL, and moved to Oxford University for the first year of his PhD in 2015. It is alleged that the attack took place at his student flat in London in May 2013.

The victim, a fellow student at the time, said she felt compelled to report the rape after the message was received, which read that

“I am so sorry for emotionally abusing you and manipulating you to do things you didn’t want to do. I am really sorry for raping you. I am really sorry for hurting you. It’s all my fault.”

The jury heard how the defendant forced himself upon the victim after she had visited him at his student flat. Before the attack, she ignored advances he made on her on a nearby sofa and moved to sit on a bed to put distance between them. He then attacked her on the bed and forcefully stripped off her clothes.

David Povall, the prosecuting barrister, explained the attack to the jury. He said that:

“They were sitting on the sofa together and as they talked he obviously wasn’t listening to her because he kept trying to grope her and remove her clothes,”

“She stopped him because she wanted to talk and moved over to sit on the bed to put some distance between them.”

“That was unwise because he came over and forced her down onto the bed and started trying to remove her lower clothing.”

“She was telling him to stop but he continued, and after a while managed to undo her belt and pulled off her knickers and jeans together.”

He then described how the woman was telling him to stop, and then began crying during the attack, and then fled the flat in tears.

Ip, who has never been arrested before, made no comment during the police interview. However, in court, he said that the woman ‘seduced’ him and that they had sex again the next day. He also has claimed that the claimant became jealous when he told her about his relationship with a different woman.

The victim decided not to report the attack at the time but then gained the confidence to do so after receiving Ip’s text.

Ip denies the rape, and the trial continues.


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