Advertising

Man cleared on all counts of rape and sex assault

News | Published:

NOT GUILTY on all counts was the unanimous verdict of jurats yesterday as the eight-day trial of a man accused of nine sexual offences against the same woman came to a conclusion.

Royal Court. (25201101)

The majority of the charges against the 34-year-old defendant arose from claims made by the woman, 28, about incidents she said had occurred when she was under the age of 11.

She said that the assaults had occurred between 20 and 30 times.

The court heard from more than 20 witnesses, the majority of whom were from the defence. The court had prevented evidence being publicly reported until after all witnesses were heard.

These included the girl’s father, who was one of several defence witnesses from the woman’s family who said that they would not believe anything she said under oath.

The primary evidence from the complainant was a series of video interviews recorded several years apart, one with Guernsey Police in 2009 and the other with Leicestershire Police in 2017.

In the first of these she spoke of how the defendant used to lead her away from social gatherings when they were young and would then sexually assault her.

When she got older, he would rape her.

The court visited the scene of one of the alleged incidents.

Advertising

After giving her video statement in 2009, the complainant had decided not to take the matter to court.

It was as a result of an alleged indecent assault in 2016 that she gave a second interview to police, recorded about a year after that incident.

She had by then moved to the UK but returned to the island for a social function, also attended by the defendant, and testified he had sexually assaulted her afterwards, pulling her into an alley off Church Square and keeping her there for some 90 minutes.

Under cross-examination by Advocate Peter Ferbrache she denied that she and the defendant had simply followed on behind another group to a nightclub.

Advertising

But evidence was heard from guests at the same function who were with the defendant and the woman that night and who said the two had followed them to the club.

The advocate put it to the woman that she was making things up as she went along since some things that had emerged in cross-examination had not been told to the police.

She said she had been uncomfortable talking to the police, particularly on the first occasion when she was only 18.

Advocate Ferbrache asked the complainant about her life as a teenager, specifically when she had to move into St Julian’s Hostel because none of her family would take her in.

One of those who had been involved in her being ejected from her home was the defendant’s mother and the advocate asked if this had made the woman angry with the family. She replied that she had been upset.

When the defendant took the witness stand he denied that anything sexual had ever taken place between him and the complainant: ‘Everything she has told you is a complete and utter lie,’ he said.

On the occasions that they were both at the same social gatherings he had never been alone with her.

He had never taken her away from these get-togethers.

The woman’s brother had told the court that he had seen his sister and the defendant taking a dog away from these gatherings for a walk. ‘He’s talking rubbish,’ said the defendant.

The man’s parents, wife, a cousin, uncle, and an ex-girlfriend all gave evidence on his behalf, as did the complainant’s father and her present and former step-mothers.

Some had attended social occasions where the defendant and complainant had also been present. They said there was no chance for the two to be alone together.

The defendant’s family and ex-girlfriend spoke about his good character, saying what a moral and decent man he was. His girlfriend when he was aged between about 16 and 19 said he had integrity, was trustworthy. and she had never questioned his truthfulness.

Several witnesses said that the complainant was something of an outsider.

Two of the charges were that he had raped her. There was also a further specimen charge of rape which covered all other occasions when this was alleged to have happened.

Three charges related to specific incidents of sexual assault while the complainant was a child, plus one specimen charge in relation to additional similar offences.

Another charge was for an incitement to commit an act of gross indecency on a child, which was also a specimen and covered multiple alleged incidents.

The ninth charge related to an alleged sexual assault on the complainant when she was an adult, in 2016.

After Judge Russell Finch took more than two hours summing up the case and giving legal guidance. The eight jurats took about 90 minutes to reach their joint verdict.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Guernsey Press

UK & International News