A TERRIFED woman was hung from a makeshift gallows by a man who also raped her, a court heard.

Christopher Harwood allegedly put his victim's head into a makeshift noose after revealing he had suicidal thoughts and told her he wanted her to know what it felt like.

He only slackened the cable round her neck and ended her ordeal after she started making noises.

The woman was one of two victims who complained to police that Harwood had raped them – the other complainant telling how he once held a gun to her head as he attacked her.

Harwood, aged 34, of Tintern Avenue, Tonge Moor, denies five counts of rape, attempted rape, two counts of making threats to kill and one count of possessing a firearm while committing rape.

At the start of a trial, which is expected to last three weeks, Neil Fryman, prosecuting, told a jury how the first allegations of rape date back to September, 2006.

The following month he raped his victim again after she refused to have sex with him and he became angry, the court heard.

Mr Fryman said that when the woman told him, "You're going to have to shoot me then", Harwood left the room and returned a few minutes later with a plastic bag containing a handgun.

He put the gun to her head, gagged her with a shirt and raped her before falling asleep, Mr Fryman said.

The woman escaped and alerted police, who found a .38 revolver, with Harwood's DNA on it, hidden under a paving slab in his back garden.

The sexual allegations against Harwood were dropped after the woman retracted her complaint.

But the case was reopened after a second woman came forward in August, 2013 alleging Harwood had raped her and made threats to kill her.

One one occasion in 2011, the woman feared for her life after Harwood started hanging her after telling her he was going to commit suicide himself and making a noose.

But Mr Fryman said that instead of killing himself, he grabbed hold of the woman and put her head in the noose.

He then left her hanging, only moving a cabinet back underneath her when he heard the noises she was making, the court was told. 

"He told her she would now know what it felt like," said Mr Fryman.

The trial continues.