Man found not guilty of rape

The Royal Court Picture: JON GUEGAN. (38529106)

A MAN has been cleared of raping a woman in a caravan by having sex with her when she was too drunk to consent.

A jury found Neil Chadwick (58) not guilty following a five-day trial in the Royal Court.

Jurors yesterday returned a unanimous verdict after just over four hours of deliberation.

The woman alleged that Mr Chadwick took her to a caravan and had sex with her when she was too drunk to be able to consent. Giving evidence, she told the court she woke up with bruises and wearing only her bra.

Crown Advocate Lauren Hallam, prosecuting, argued that the woman was “far more drunk than the defendant” and therefore unable to consent.

But the defendant told the court that she asked him for sex. The court also heard the pair exchanged friendly messages in days after that night.

Positive character statements were read out during the trial by Advocate Mike Preston, defending, with Mr Chadwick described as “kind” and “very respectful towards women”.

Mr Chadwick also told the court how much the trial had affected him, saying he suffered from anxiety and nightmares during the week.

He also struggled to hear some questions and understand some of the documents put to him in court, becoming visibly anxious in the witness stand.

Supporters of Mr Chadwick applauded in court when the jury returned their verdict but were told to stop by Commissioner Alan Binnington, who presided over the case.

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