A PONTELAND man raped a woman who was celebrating her birthday, a court was told.

Dean Graham (41), of Kirkley Drive, denies rape and assault by penetration and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court this week.

Prosecutor David Combes told jurors the alleged victim was celebrating her birthday in December 2018 before she decided to return to her friend's flat in Newcastle.

She had been drinking alcohol and had smoked cannabis, the jury was told.

"That, says the prosecution, was of no relevance to the events that you will consider in this case," Mr Combes told the jury.

Her friend lived with her mother and Graham, her mother's partner.

"There were four people in that flat towards the end of the night," said Mr Combes.

He said the alleged victim's friend's mother was the first person to go to bed that night, and was not joined by Graham.

The alleged victim fell asleep on the sofa in the living room drifted off to sleep and was woken up when, Graham, who had approached her from behind, sexually assaulted her and then raped her, the prosecutor told the jury.

Mr Combes said the alleged victim 'managed to punch him in the face making him stop'.

A video interview with police which took place 12 days after the alleged incident was played to the jury.

The alleged victim said she called her dad after the incident and that Graham was following her around.

"I was petrified," she said. "I was frantic. I was screaming on the phone to my dad."

She added: "He got the point straight away. My dad, said 'He has not, has he?.'"

She told police when her dad said it would take him 10 minutes to get to her, she called 999.

Lorraine Mustard, defending Graham, said to the alleged victim there was a high concentration of cocaine found in a urine sample she provided around four hours after police were contacted, despite telling police she hadn't taken the drug.

The alleged victim replied: "I do not believe that. I don't believe there could have been a high concentration in my urine sample, not at all."

She had earlier told the court while she smokes cannabis "every day", she does not take drugs such as cocaine or speed because of the effect on her mental health.

Ms Mustard said: "I suggest to you that you had a bad experience because you were taking drugs that you yourself said were not good for your head."

The defence barrister added no DNA of the alleged victim was found on Graham's penis.

"Maybe he had enough time to clean up before the police came," the alleged victim replied.

Ms Mustard said the 'truth of the matter' was that Graham hadn't raped her.

She suggested the alleged victim had had a bad experience after taking drugs, and then 'took the opportunity that your dad implied something sexual had happened'.

"I felt it, I know it happened," said the alleged victim.

Graham denies the offences.

The trial continues.