A father-of-three accused of raping a woman in her own bed has been cleared.
A jury took just 24 minutes to unanimously find Wigan man Craig Hunt not guilty of the charge and he was today (Wed) discharged from the dock.
31-year-old Hunt broke down in tears when the verdict was announced and he was hugged by supporters, who had also broken down in tears of relief in the public gallery.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claims that she had been asleep after a heavy drinking session while out with friends and awoke to find Hunt raping her.
But Hunt, of Greenhey, a department manager for a food manufacturing business, told the jury that he had not known she was asleep and believed she was consenting to sexual intercourse.
He said they got into bed together and he undid the buttons on her top and she helped him take it off and he also removed her bra with her assistance.
“I put my arms around her, kissing her. I was aroused. ” he told Liverpool Crown Court.
He said that he had just begun having intercourse with her when she turned round and said, ‘what are you doing?’.
Asked by his lawyer Martyn Walsh, “Did you believe she was consenting to have sex with you?”, he replied, “yes.”
He said that after she spoke to him it seemed that she did not know who he was. “It was like it was a dream. The way she was looking and talking at first was just bizarre.
“She was laughing and then doing an angry voice, it was not normal behaviour.”
When she then accused him of rape he began recording what happened on his mobile phone, with the intention of showing it her the next day so she could see her behaviour. “I never imagined I would be here (in court) today," he said.
Further questioned Hunt said he had drunk eight cans of lager and was drunk. He admitted he was a binge drinker at the time and had problems with anxiety and depression but has now given up alcohol. He is currently off work sick because of the stress of the proceedings, he said.