A Cambridge PhD post-graduate bit a chunk of flesh out of a woman’s arm and laughed as he chewed it, a jury has been told.
Dr David Lake, 44, is said to have hit Sharon Johnston, 49, with such force that she dropped to the ground, punched her repeatedly to the head, kicked her in the ribs and stamped on her back.
He is also alleged to have put his arms around Mrs Johnston’s neck and started strangling her, saying ‘I will kill you, I will kill you, your kids will not see you alive,’ said Anne Brown, prosecuting at Isle of Wight Crown Court.
The court was told that neighbours of Mrs Johnston say that they heard a man making a ‘growling’ noise at her Ryde home where the attack is alleged to have taken place.
Dr Lake, of Hill Head, Glastonbury, Somerset – who was renting a room at the house at the time – denies one charge of unlawful wounding and a further charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Mrs Johnston was left with a bruise to her right eye, bruising to her chest and a bite mark on her left arm following the incident.
She was suffering from ovarian cancer and epilepsy and died of natural causes a few weeks after the alleged assault, which took place on August 16 last year.
The jury was told how Dr Lake, who has doctorate in management science, had agreed to rent a spare room at Mrs Johnston’s home, but started saying ‘odd’ things to her such as her children would have to address him as ‘Lord’ or ‘Emperor’, said Miss Brown.
She said of the attack: ‘He bit her and tore the skin away. She could see her own skin in his mouth. He chewed it, and swallowed it and laughed.’
‘When police arrived, he said it was an illegal arrest. He was abusive and angry and told police they were going to lose their jobs. He said he was proud of what he had done to her.
‘He told them they had no idea who they were dealing with.’
During a subsequent police interview, Dr Lake denied he had attacked Mrs Johnston and answered no comment to officers’ other questions.
Dr Lake, who claims to run a ‘refuge’ and be independently wealthy, told the court he had come to the Isle of Wight because a friend of his was in trouble.
On the night of the incident, he said he had fallen asleep in his room and when he came outside, he found Mrs Johnston lying in the hallway.
He said: ‘My first instinct was that she had had some kind of epileptic seizure. I did not cause any of her injuries.’
He also denied screaming and shouting.
The case continues.