AN ILLEGAL immigrant who interrupted an attempted rape tried to talk the victim out of reporting it to police, a court heard.

AN ILLEGAL immigrant who interrupted an attempted rape tried to talk the victim out of reporting it to police, a court heard.

But the alleged attacker, Shi Fu Ni, believed that restaurant worker Le Lin would call police and attempted to strangle him with electrical cable.

Mr Lin told Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday) that he would have been unlikely to report the alleged rape because of his illegal status in the country, and because he did not speak enough English to make the emergency call.

The alleged incidents happened in the early hours of November 9 last year at a restaurant near St Ives where the two men, friends for three-and-a-half years, worked.

Giving evidence, Mr Lin said he had heard female screams and gone into a room at the restaurant to see Ni, 23, sitting on the victim on a bed.

Mr Lin, 31, intervened and removed Ni to another part of the building, whereupon Ni became concerned the alleged assault would be reported to the police, and allegedly attacked his friend.

Ni denies charges of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm with intent against Mr Lin, and charges of attempted rape and sexual assault against the woman.

In cross-examination, James Mulholland, for Ni, asked: "Why didn't you ask him what was going on [after hearing the screams]?"

Mr Lin replied: "Inside my heart I knew what he was trying to do so I didn't ask him."

When pressed again by Mr Mulholland as to why he had not asked Ni for his version of events, Mr Lin answered: "Because I didn't have time to ask him and I was very clear what he was trying to do. All I could think of was how to explain to our boss and how to persuade [the woman] not to report to the police."

Mr Lin told the court that Ni put a wire around his neck, saying: "I'm afraid you will report me to the police. Sorry."

Asked if he had suggested calling the police at any stage, Mr Lin said: "I never mentioned that. I only persuaded [the woman] not to do that."

Mr Lin admitted that he and Ni knew each other's backgrounds as illegal immigrants, and that, for that reason, he did not want to call the police.

Mr Mulholland asked: "He [Ni] knew you would not have wanted the police involved in any way. Is that correct?"

Mr Lin replied: "That's what I meant - that's why I didn't report it to the police."

Mr Mulholland said: "You were worried that if you reported it to the police you could be deported?"

Mr Lin said: "Yes. And I don't know English at all. How am I supposed to make a call to the police?"

The case continues.