A MAN cleared of raping a 20-year-old woman following a crown court trial said: ‘I just want to get on with my life.’
Brent Shaw, 20, was found not guilty of two counts of raping the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – in a Gosport flat following a three-day trial.
A 12-strong jury took just 27 minutes to clear Mr Shaw of the charges against him in a unanimous verdict at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Mr Shaw, who had denied the charges, said: ‘This has been horrible.
‘I just want to forget about it and move on.’
Mr Shaw, of Hilton Road, Gosport, was arrested and charged with the offences following a party on March 16 last year. He was 19 years old at the time.
The court heard that Mr Shaw had been at the woman’s flat with a male friend of his and her sister drinking spirits.
Mr Shaw said during evidence that he had had sex with the woman, but that the intercourse had been consensual.
He had told the court he had encountered the woman in the corridor of the flat where she pulled down her trousers without words being spoken.
Mr Shaw had said during evidence: ‘I just followed her lead.’
He said the woman did not protest or struggle, but made approving noises.
Mr Shaw told the court the woman said nothing other than ’my sister might catch us’.
Speaking outside the court room after being cleared, of the charges, Mr Shaw said: ‘I’ve been on bail for a year.
‘It’s been horrible. It took the jury 27 minutes.
‘Everyone could clearly see I’ve done nothing wrong.
‘Twelve random people – even they could tell I’d done nothing wrong. I just want to get on with my life.
‘It’s finished. This is what we’ve been waiting for. I’m not guilty. I wasn’t guilty in the first place anyway.’
Addressing the jury of eight women and four men as he discharged them from their duties, Recorder Stephen Parish said: ‘Thank you very much for the care and attention you have given to this case.
‘Obviously the court system cannot function without you and I’m sure the defendant is very grateful it works the way it does.’