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Durham student among GBBO hopefuls

A Durham University student is among those bidding to win this year's Great British Bake Off.

Michael says his Cypriot heritage is evident in his baking, as he loves to make Greek pastries with his grandmother.

Michael Credit: BBC/GBBO

The 20-year-old, who is from London, is currently studying politics and economics in Durham.

Twelve amateur bakers will be hoping to succeed Nadiya Hussain as champion when the show returns on August 24.

The contestants pose with judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Credit: BBC/GBBO

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Durham student denies rape and sexual assault

The former secretary of Durham University's prestigious Union Society has gone on trial to deny raping one student and sexually assaulting another.

Durham Crown Court Credit: PA

Louis Richardson, 21, from Jersey, is accused of having sex with the woman at his home when she was unable to consent in March 2014, Durham Crown Court has heard.

The next morning he is said to have told her she was "rubbish in bed because she was unresponsive", the jury was told.

Richardson also denies a charge of sexual assault against the woman, relating to an allegation he lifted up her top at a friend's house to expose her bra.

The defendant was also charged with attacking another student at a house party in October 2014.

She had felt ill and went to sleep in an empty bedroom when she awoke to find a man with one hand on her breast and the other over her knickers.

When she pushed him off, Paul Cleasby, prosecuting, said he replied: "If you wanted me to stop you could have asked."

The jury was told she replied: "I was asleep."

She did not know Richardson but remembered his distinctive "posh" accent, the court has heard.

The first complainant went to the police with her allegation and Richardson was arrested.

Richardson told police it was "likely" they had had sex after he had seen her in Klute nightclub and took her back to his home.

He said they had both been drinking but said they were not drunk.

He denied saying she was "rubbish" at sex and accepted during the police interview that would have been cruel, the court heard.

During a second interview regarding the other complainant, Richardson claimed he was comforting the woman in bed, and he had put his hand on her shoulder.

He told police she took hold of his hand and moved it herself to her chest, the jury has heard.

The defendant, of Midvale Road, St Helier, denies one charge of rape and three sexual assaults.

The rape complainant, who cannot be identified, wept as she gave evidence via a videolink, and told the court she liked Richardson because he was "very confident" and "he seemed to be everything that I was not".

She explained she was "very, very intoxicated" when she was in Klute nightclub and recalled seeing Richardson.

The next thing she could remember was waking up at Richardson's flat the next morning.

She told the jury: "I can remember him saying I was really bad in bed because I was unresponsive."

She wept as she added: "(I felt) just completely horrified, like I had done everything wrong."

She explained: "(I had) been too drunk, just got myself into the state and going back with him."

She said initially she tried to laugh it off, and that she had been stupid for thinking of Richardson as someone who would have looked after her when she was drunk.

She told the court that on the way to the party where Richardson allegedly pulled up her top, he had kissed her and made a joke about rape.

"I pushed him away and said I didn't want to do that," she said of his attempted kiss.

"He pushed me against a wall and kissed me and said 'Don't worry darling, it's rape'."

She explained to the jury Richardson meant the kiss was not her responsibility and not her choice.

"He was making a joke about rape," she said. "It is a semi-popular thing that students do."

She considered withdrawing her allegation with the police but then decided to go through with it.

"I didn't want anyone else to go through that," she said.

She said she did not know the second complainant.

The trial continues.

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