London, Nov 14: The man accused of raping and murdering 17-year-old British girl Hannah Foster has said that he was kidnapped, bound, blindfolded and forced to have sex with the teenager.
Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, 41, told the jury that on the night Hannah went missing near Southampton, in 2003, he was bundled into a car by three men before being forced to have sex with a woman he now believes was Hannah. Kohli portrayed himself as a victim of revenge, saying a colleague to whom he owed 16,000 pound targeted him.
He said he was taken to a van, where he was bound and blindfolded then forced to have sexual intercourse with a woman, who he now believed to be Hannah, The Sun reported.
He told the jury at Winchester Crown Court that he repeatedly borrowed sums of money from his colleague James Dennis, with whose wife he claimed he was having an affair.
But when Dennis asked for the money to be returned, including a statutory demand from a solicitor, Kohli said he threatened to reveal the secret affair.
Kohli told the trial that on March 13, 2003, the day before Hannah disappeared, Dennis's brother Jonathan threatened him, demanding that he pay his brother back. The next day Kohli said he went to work as normal before going out for a meal with his wife and children in the evening.
Kohli, who said in court that he was a gambling addict, said that after returning his family to their home, he went to the Mitre pub in Portswood, Southampton.
He had already drunk a pint of beer and up to four bottles of pilsner before driving to the pub. He then had another pint and gambled about 25 pound on the fruit machines before returning home to pick up another 20 pound to have another drink and carry on gambling on the machines.
He said he won some money before leaving the pub at closing time. It was as he was returning to his work van, parked nearby, that he claimed two men who told him to get in the back of a dark-coloured car grabbed him.
One man knelt on his back and tied his hands while another sat on his legs and a third man drove the car.
He said: "The man who had his knee on my back tied my hands, they then blindfolded me. I was pleading saying 'I'm asthmatic and I can't breathe, I'm suffocating'. I just asked them what they want from me and they said 'It's best you keep listening to us'. I will never, ever forget the events of that night, I am still scared and frightened."