Man, 24, cleared of rape

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A WIGAN man has been cleared of rape and a sexual assault.

Anthony Woodward, 24, was found not guilty of the two offences by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court, following a four-day trial.

Woodward, of Ashington Close, Kitt Green, had denied rape and sexual assault.

The jury returned their verdicts 10 minutes after being given a majority direction by Judge John Roberts, after they had failed to reach unanimous verdicts.

Woodward told the court the woman had consented to sexual activity and had initiated it. The prosecution had claimed that she been too drunk to give her consent.

Mr Anthony O’Donohoe, prosecuting, had told the jury that, on December 18 last year, the woman had met Woodward at a club on a night out with friends and was drinking shots with him. He said the complainant had no memory of leaving the club or getting back to her home.

Woodward, who had come back with the group, arrived at the woman’s home and said he would “sort her out” and went upstairs and sat with her with a towel, bowl and water.

The daughter told the court that when looked into her mother’s room, she could not see her but saw Woodward on top of her having sex.

Woodward, who voluntarily went to a police station on December 20 and denied that the complainant had been drunk, told the court that he had gone up to her bedroom to care for her.

He stayed chatting to her and got into bed with her to keep an eye on her. But after a while she turned and kissed him and that led to consensual sexual activity and then consensual intercourse.

He told the court that he had thought it was just one of those things which would never be talked about again. He added that he now bitterly regretted the incident and was embarrassed by it but maintained that it had been with her consent.