KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysian pilot who was accused of repeatedly raping a woman after breaking into her home 21 years ago admitted in his trial yesterday that he tried to blackmail the victim, news portal Perth Now reported.

Alfred Gerard Eravelly, 50, who had lived in Malaysia before his recent arrest, claimed that he and the victim had a consensual sexual relationship that turned sour after he tried to blackmail her.

In March 1996, Eravelly allegedly broke into a 38-year-old woman’s beachside villa through her bathroom window, before raping her at knife-point.

Eravelly was finally arrested in February last year when he arrived in Sydney on a flight from Malaysia, and was then extradited to Perth.

He was charged with burglary, unlawful wounding, deprivation of liberty, and five counts of sexual penetration without consent in the District Court there.

Eravelly’s defence lawyer Tom Percy said, however, that his client had started a consensual sexual relationship after meeting at a bar, and he was invited to the house and had tied her up as “part of a sex play”.

His client then asked the woman for money, and had “blackmailed” her by threatening to inform her partner about the relationship after she refused, Percy said.

Earlier, state prosecutor Sean Dworcan said Eravelly told police in a video-recorded interview that he knew the woman, and they had consensual sex thrice before the alleged incident. Eravelly claimed the woman had made false allegations.

However, Eravelly later admitted to the police under heavy questioning off camera that he was a “peeping Tom” who had watched the woman through her bedroom window, and had fantasised about breaking in and raping her.

The court was told that Eravelly was an aviation student living in Scarborough, a coastal suburb in Perth in 1996.

The woman was alone in the house when an intruder, who wore a stocking over his head and was armed with a knife, broke in before pushing her onto her stomach, blindfolded and tied her hands behind her back, and then raping her on the bed.

It was only in 2015 that DNA samples taken from the woman’s bedding and breast were matched to Eravelly, due to advancement in DNA technology, the court was told.