Jury discharged in rape case

Vehicle crime spree hits Hayling Island

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A JURY has been unable to reach a verdict in the case of a 17-year-old boy accused of raping a 13-year-old boy.

The nine women and three men on the jury spent nearly seven hours trying to reach a verdict on a charge of rape and another of sexual assault at Portsmouth Crown Court.

But yesterday Judge Ian Pearson discharged the jury after they said they were deadlocked.

The 17-year-old from the Havant area, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies the offences, which are alleged to have taken place in May last year.

The judge told the jury: ‘Don’t feel that you have failed in your task at all and don’t feel that your time has been wasted.

‘You have played a crucial role even though no decisions have been reached in this case.’

A retrial will take place next month.