Qatari media boss ‘repeatedly raped a woman in his £1.5m west London flat, court hears 

Qatari media boss ‘repeatedly raped a woman in his £1.5m west London flat, court hears 

A Qatari media boss repeatedly raped a woman and beat her until his hands hurt, a court heard.

Saleh Al-Mesallam, 32, allegedly kicked and stamped on the victim in a series of attacks at the luxury Peninsula Apartments complex in Paddington, west London.

The victim suffered a broken elbow and a mass of cuts and bruising, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Al-Mesallam took the woman’s phone and wallet so she could not escape him and changed the passwords to her accounts so she could not contact other people, jurors heard.

The woman went to hospital on 6 March, where she first told a doctor she had been injured from a fall – but then claimed Al-Mesallam had beaten her.

During a police interview, the woman claimed she had been raped repeatedly.

Police raided the media mogul’s flat and broke through a barricaded door to find Al-Mesallam on his bed.

Prosecutor Sarah Ellis told jurors: ‘On the 6 March 2021 the complainant went to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

Almesallam is alleged to have repeatedly raped the woman in a £1.5million flat in Peninsula Apartments, Paddington in London (Pictured: Peninsula Apartments)

‘She was examined by a doctor.

‘She had told the doctor she had fallen down the day before and had pain and limited movement in her left shoulder.

‘The doctor began to examine her and he could see immediately she had multiple bruises on her left shoulder and upper arm.

‘In his view, those didn’t appear to be from a fall.

‘He he also noticed bruises to her left breast.’

The doctor also noticed a cut above the woman’s eyebrow as well as small bleed on her right eye.

‘After some persuasion she told him she had been abused by [Al-Mesallam] for the last several months,’ said Ms Ellis.

Jurors heard Al-Mesallam had dragged the woman by her hair until he ripped some of it out, and also threatened to shave off her eyebrows before threatening to kill her.

An X-ray revealed her left humerus was fractured, and the doctor noticed bruising to her right shoulder, thighs, a healed cut near her right eyebrow, and a small bleed in her right eye, jurors heard.

Al-Mesallam, a director of a TV news and sports channel, took the woman's phone and wallet so she could not escape him and changed the passwords to her accounts so she could not contact other people, jurors at Southwark Crown Court (pictured) heard

Al-Mesallam, a director of a TV news and sports channel, took the woman’s phone and wallet so she could not escape him and changed the passwords to her accounts so she could not contact other people, jurors at Southwark Crown Court (pictured) heard 

Ms Ellis told jurors Al-Mesallam would repeatedly ask her accusatory questions, then beat her when he did not get the answer he wanted.

She said: ‘She explained that her recollection of the first incident of violence started because the defendant accused her of accessing and taking information from his laptop.

“He became very angry and began to hit her..

‘She recalls he threatened to urinate on her.

‘He didn’t urinate on her but he did urinate on her bag.’

Afterwards, the told the woman he ‘didn’t know’ why he was hitting her, adding someone was usually there to ‘restrain’ him, jurors heard.

In her first police interview, the woman told the officers that Al-Mesallam had raped her on a number occasions.

Asked how she got the shoulder injury, she said Al-Mesallam had braced himself against wall and ‘forcefully kicked her’ five times as she was lying in bed.

She told them the most violent attack had taken place just a few days before she finally confided in the doctor.

The prosecutor said Al-Mesallam later questioned the woman.

‘He wanted to know if she had taken photographs from his laptop.

‘She told him no, she didn’t know his PIN.

‘He hit her and kicked her and at one point had his foot on her neck.

‘At one point, she told him she had taken the photographs to stop the violence.

‘He asked her how she knew his pin. She said she didn’t.

‘At this point he began to pull her hair so hard clumps of it came off in his hand,’ said the prosecutor.

‘This business of him questioning her and then assaulting her went on all through the night, with effectively breaks of about half an hour to 45 minutes.’

Al-Messallam dragged the woman by the hair, shoved her against a wardrobe and pushed her into the bath, causing her injured shoulder ‘intense pain’.

He allegedly took a razor and threatened to shave her eyebrows, at one point holding it against her neck.

‘He threatened to kill her. He said if he did kill her, he would simply fly to Qatar and no one would be able to do anything about it,’ said Ms Ellis.

‘He threatened to shave not only her eyebrows but her hair, telling her would do it to traumatise her and give her a complex.’

She tried to pack her luggage at one point, but Al-Messalam said “You leave when I decide”, and took her phone and bank card off her.

Al-Mesallam later apologised for the assault, but Ms Ellis told the court: ‘He said he actually only apologised because he wanted a rest, his hand was hurting from all the hitting and the violence began again.’

In the early hours of the day before she went to the hospital, Al-Mesallam attacked the woman because she didn’t give him her iCloud sign-in details.

‘During that period she was repeatedly assaulted and she remembered a particular point when she was on the floor and this defendant had his foot on her neck so that she could barely move and barely breathe and she thought she was going to die,’ said Ms Ellis.

The following morning, she managed to convince him she needed to go the hospital, jurors heard.

He insisted on going with but was eventually asked to leave by staff due to covid restrictions, it is said.

In his police interview, Al-Mesallam said they had an argument and she had attacked him, causing scratches and other injuries.

Al-Mesallam claimed he had defended himself, and may have caused injuries to her holding her.

He said she may have caused the injuries to her eye herself, and any other injuries might be from her ex-husband.

Al-Mesallam also told police she may have accused him to get money.

Settings on the woman’s phone and Instagram account had been changed after she was admitted to hospital, during which time Al-Mesallam had her phone, the court heard.

The Qatari national appeared in the dock wearing a black hoodie and was assisted by an Arabic interpreter.

Al-Mesallam, of Praed Street, Paddington, denies four counts of rape, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, four counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, making threats to kill and engaging in controlling or coercive behaviour.

The trial continues.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10593675/Qatari-media-boss-repeatedly-raped-woman-1-5m-west-London-flat-court-hears.html

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