A STUDENT who picked up a woman in the early hours and left her in an isolated street has been cleared of kidnap and sexual assault by a jury.
Perry Abbey, 39, of Grove Road North, Southsea, was on trial for six days at Portsmouth Crown Court where he was accused of the incident in May, 2016.
But a jury acquitted him of kidnap yesterday morning before later returning not guilty verdict on sexual assault after three hours and 45 minutes of deliberations.
Dad-of-three Mr Abbey, who was a university student in Southampton at the time, clasped his hands together in prayer as the final verdict was read out by the foreman.
He broke down and sobbed resting his head on his fist on the bench in the dock before rising to his feet and thanking the jury as they were led out the room having been discharged by the judge.
Mr Abbey had denied sexual assault and kidnap, claiming he ‘genuinely’ wanted to help the woman.
Asked when he was giving evidence why he agreed to take her in new BMW from Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, despite not knowing her, he said: ‘Because I thought she genuinely needed help.’
He initially told police there had been no sexual activity between the pair, but later said the woman touched his crotch under his trousers and he pushed her hand away.
The prosecution case was that he had pretended to be a taxi driver and assaulted her before the woman jumped uot his car. He denied all of this.