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A woman who says she was raped by the lawyer husband of former British number one Anne Keothavong thought she was going to die during the alleged attack, a court has heard.

Andrew Bretherton, 49, pinned the alleged victim face down on his bed so she felt she was being suffocated before forcing himself on her without her consent, jurors were told.

She said Bretherton started playing the track Welcome To the Jungle by Guns ‘N’ Roses before “something switched in him.”

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she “would have suffocated and died” if she had not managed to eventually move herself into a position where she could take in some air.

She managed to wrestle herself free before locking herself inside the bathroom of his swanky flat in Kensington, west London, following the alleged attack in May 2008, seven years before Bretherton married the sports star.

The lawyer is married to Britain’s former number one tennis player ( CameraSport via Getty Images)
The couple married in February 2015, seven years before the alleged attack ( WireImage)

Bretherton, who is a semi-professional tennis player himself, appeared to show little emotion as jurors were played a video recording of the alleged victim’s police interview.

Dressed in a sharp dark grey suit, light blue shirt and dark blue tie, he did not sit in the dock because he has trouble hearing, and made notes in a small notebook during parts of her evidence.

The lawyer, who married Ms Keothavong in February 2015, denies two counts of rape.

In the police interview, played to Inner London Crown Court, the alleged victim said she first met the Oxford-educated lawyer, who qualified at elite firm Slaughter and May, through a mutual friend in the summer of 2007.

They then met again at a birthday party the following January before going on three dates at a pub, restaurant and a sports bar. They kissed on the second date.

Ms Keothavong watched Wimbledon with the Duchess of Cambridge in 2019 ( Getty Images)

On their fourth date, the pair went to a gastro-pub before Bretherton took her past his flat on the way home and invited her in.

A group of posh sixth-formers who were “probably students home from boarding school” who had been in the pub stopped and asked her for directions before she entered the flat with Bretherton.

She told police: “I remember looking at them and thinking ‘they don’t know, they are young and confident but they are vulnerable.’

“They had been in the pub and they were walking fine, but I said ‘be careful, it is a big city, look after each other’ or something along those lines.

“I was concerned for their safety, but it didn’t even occur to me that I should be concerned about my safety with this person.”

Once they entered the flat he took her for a short tour and she said she remembered it being “clean and sterily empty,” with a fridge that had nothing in it apart from sparkling water.

The former pro is expected to act as a character witness for her husband ( Getty Images)

He began kissing her in the hall and took her towards the bedroom, and she followed but was “not running”, jurors heard.

She said that as they kissed on the bed he was “leading the way” but she “willingly but tentatively” followed.

He then “started to get more assertive” and “very handsy”, and began trying to touch her breasts and placing his hand down her trousers.

She thought he was just “going in for the kill” and told him “woah, slow down”.

She said: “I was being nice about it. I was thinking he was just being a bit eager and fast.”

They carried on kissing until he suddenly he got up and got out a 1980s or 1990s cassette player, and she asked him “is that mood music”.

He started playing Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses, which she described as an “odd choice.”

He then slapped her bottom hard and she told him he was being too rough, but then “something switched in him.”

He pushed her down onto the bed and began raping her as her head was pressed down on the pillow, the court heard. Jurors were told she was raped vaginally and anally.

She said: “He entered me from behind and started ramming me while holding my head down on the pillow. I literally could not breathe at all.

“If that situation had not changed I definitely would have suffocated and died.”

She said she managed to eventually move herself in a position where she could get some air, thought about how to escape and managed to wrestle herself away before locking herself in the bathroom.

When she came out she says he looked “stunned but calculated” and looked at her like he was “studying” and “assessing” the situation.

She said she remembers shouting “that’s not what you do, that’s not what you do” at him as she left.

BBC tennis pundit Ms Keothavong, 39, who competed in four Wimbledon championships and represented Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics, is expected to act as a character witness for her husband later in proceedings.

The trial continues.