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Qatari media boss, 32, 'threatened to cut woman into pieces after laying out a knife' court hears

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A Qatari media boss threatened to cut a woman into pieces after laying out a knife, a plastic bag and tape next to her while as she slept, a court heard.

Saleh Al-Mesallam, 32, is accused of repeatedly raping the woman between January and March last year at his luxury Peninsula Apartment in Paddington, west London.

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

Giving evidence behind a screen, she told jurors how Al-Mesallam fractured her left shoulder by bracing himself against a wall and kicking her as she was lying in bed.

Al-Mesallam is alleged to have threatened to cut a woman into pieces after laying out a knife, a plastic bag and tape next to her while as she slept in a £1.5million flat in Peninsula Apartments, Paddington in London (Pictured: Peninsula Apartments)

Al-Mesallam is alleged to have threatened to cut a woman into pieces after laying out a knife, a plastic bag and tape next to her while as she slept in a £1.5million flat in Peninsula Apartments, Paddington in London (Pictured: Peninsula Apartments)

‘He was kicking me by the leg, four times,’ she said.

Pictures that the woman had sent to her GP on February 15 showing various bruises were displayed to the jury.

Prosecutor Sarah Ellis asked her: ‘Do you remember why you sent those pictures to the GP?’

‘Because I had too many bruises,’ said the woman.

‘It was a beating. From him.’

She said her doctor prescribed her some ointment for her injuries, which worked only partly worked.

‘For bruises it worked, but for shoulder no.

‘Because it was broken for a long time,’ she added.

She further confirmed that a photograph of injuries to her face were also caused by Al-Mesallam hitting her, but she could not remember more details.

‘It was Salleh.

‘He caused everything,’ she said.

‘He was beating me so many times I forgot the details.

‘On one occasion, he hit me with a hairdryer cable.’

She described how after brutally attacking on the night before she finally went to the hospital, Al-Mesallam cut out a piece of the duvet that had been stained by her blood.

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 

‘Because I was bleeding he cut that piece of cloth,’ she said.

‘He cut it in order to hide it as evidence.’

During one attack Al-Mesallam pulled out clumps of the woman’s hair and cut some of it off, the jury was told.

Ms Ellis asked her: ‘Was your hair damaged in any way before the defendant pulled it out and cut it?’

‘No,’ she replied.

Jurors heard Al-Mesallam had taken away her mobile phone to keep her from contacting friends and family.

But when a police officer returned it to her after his arrest, she discovered he’d changed her passcode and set the language from English to Arabic.

Ms Ellis said: ‘In the interview you told the officers that Salleh would regularly hide your telephone.

‘How often would he do that?’

‘Every week,’ she replied.

The woman denied ever using her phone to access Al-Mesallam iCloud and other social media accounts.

‘I never touched his information,’ she said.

Jurors heard that in October last year a police officer showed the woman video clips of herself and Al-Mesallam engaged in sexual activity.

Ms Ellis asked her: ‘You saw those clips. Did you know those events were being recorded?’

‘No,’ she replied.

‘Have you ever uploaded videos of yourself and Mr Al-Mesallam engaged in sexual activity to any social media,’ asked the prosecutor.

She replied: ‘No.’

In a voice note sent in January last year, Al-Mesallam told the woman: ‘F***, pick up your phone! I am talking to you.’

Ms Ellis said: ‘There are a lot of messages in which Al-Mesallam refers to you as ‘b****’.

‘Is that something he would call you regularly?’

‘Yes, most of the time,’ she replied.

The woman described being terrorised by Al-Mesallam, who constantly would start picking fights with her in order to attack her.

‘All the time, he did the same things,’ she said.

‘He started problems before he hit me.’

Jurors saw footage of the complainant’s second police interview during which she broke down in tears as she was questioned.

Assisted by an Arabic interpreter the woman said: ‘His personality changes and he becomes a different person.

‘She doesn’t want to remember because she has talked about this issue more than 20 times.

‘The first time he hit her and then he had sex with her.

‘He said to her that he feels very happy when he hits a woman and then he has sex by force.’

She claimed Al-Mesallam said he also wanted to urinate on her.

Translating another incident, the interpreter added: ‘When he hit her there was a [blot] of blood [on her gown].

‘He cut the section with the bit of blood so it doesn’t show, to remove the blood [blots] from the gown.

‘He hit her to the eyebrows. There was a [gash] then it was bleeding.

‘Then he took her to the shower room.

‘He told her to stand in front of the mirror, ‘You see how you look?’

‘Then he repeated the same actions of [insulting] her.’

Al-Mesallam ‘cut her hair and he was about to remove her eyebrows’ on the day she reported the attacks to police, the court heard.

‘He told her if you report me to the police in Britain, they will not do anything to me.

‘She felt as if he was above the law.

‘Then he said to her that any case he gets involved in he gets out of it.

‘He said to her, ‘I have a lot of pictures, you are naked in the shower, in the bedroom.’

The translator said on the day she went to police the woman had been sleeping on the sofa when she was awakened by noise.

‘She hears some noise like crinkling and then when she wakes up, she finds a plastic bag, a knife and tape.

Then he threatened to ‘cut her in pieces’, the court heard.

‘She didn’t reply because every time she replies back he hits her more.’

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 case continues. 

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