A WOMAN was forced to dig her own grave and almost drowned in a pond by a man who got her addicted to heroin before going on to repeatedly rape her, a court heard.
Junior Chester Winston Bryan used cannabis laced with heroin to lure the Darlington teenager into a life of addiction and sexual abuse in the late 1990s.
During a two-decade-long reign of terror, Bryan forced a number of young girls into prostitution after getting them addicted to heroin.
Teesside Crown Court heard how one of the alleged victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was driven along a track near to the town's Blackwell Grange Golf Club on two occasions where the defendant is said to have abused his victim.
Richard Bennett, prosecuting, told jurors that on the first occasion Bryan "marched her to the lake and forced her head under the water and as he did so, told her that she was to do what he said".
The former Blackwell Grange Golf Club in Darlington
On the second occasion he forced her to dig her own grave before saying "well you’re not gonna fit that are you" and began to make a joke of it.
The jury also heard how Bryan had violently attacked the woman with a hammer – battering her feet and legs.
Mr Bennett said the woman was one of eight alleged victims who suffered abuse and humiliation at the hands of Bryan throughout the 1990s until 2013.
The 63-year-old is facing 32 charges, including multiple alleged rapes, false imprisonment, dealing Class A drugs and living off the earnings of prostitution.
Jurors heard that the alleged offences happened in Darlington, Middlesbrough, Leeds and London.
Another of his alleged victims, who was targeted while the defendant was living in Darlington, was severely beaten when she said he "flipped and kicked the crap" out of her before raping her.
Mr Bennett said the investigation was launched when one of Bryan's youngest victims contacted the police after watching the television drama 'Three Girls' which focused on the grooming of young girls in Rochdale and a renewed appeal for information about the disappearance and murder of Middlesbrough's Donna Keogh in April 1998.
He said: "The prosecution makes it clear that we are not linking the defendant to the disappearance of Donna Keogh, but it was this one call to police in 2017 that triggered the investigation into this defendant, and that lead us to this trial today."
Another teenager victim told police that he targeted her after meeting in a 'blues' party when he became her supplier of crack cocaine.
He persuaded her to travel to London to work as a prostitute as she would be able to earn more money there.
Mr Bennett added: "Every night she was there the defendant drove her to the red-light area. The money she had made would be given to him. In return, she would be given a little bit of heroin by the defendant."
The jury heard that on one occasion Bryan raped the teenager in her own bedroom before returning to Middlesbrough a few days later. However, he managed to track her down through her drug addiction and repeatedly raped her when back in Middlesbrough.
The prosecution will continue to outline its case this morning and the trial is expected to last eight weeks.
Bryan, of Marton Road, Middlesbrough, denies all the charges against him.