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Jury acquits man of rape and indecent assault

Jury acquits man of rape and indecent assault

Thursday 08 June 2017

Jury acquits man of rape and indecent assault


A 38-year-old man has been acquitted of four charges, including rape and indecent assault.

But the 12-strong jury did find Marcio Patricio Figueira Dias guilty of the lesser charge of incitement to pervert the course of justice.

The four-day assize trial focused on whether sex had been consensual. Both the accused and the woman were heavily intoxicated when they met for the first time on the night it had been claimed the attack took place.

Before the jury retired to consider its verdict, the Bailiff William Bailhache summed up the evidence, starting with the prosecution's case, which was put forward earlier in the week by Crown Advocate Howard Sharp.

He said: "The victim says that she tried to get away from the defendant but that the defendant grabbed her and that she ended up on her back on the landing. She does not remember if her clothes were off at the time but says that her top might have been down to the waist. She says that she tried to squirm away but that he continued and eventually had sex with her."

He then reminded the jury of the defence's case, presented by Advocate Sarah Dale: "The defence says that the complainant and the defendant kissed each other on the way home, that she led him upstairs and took her clothes off. Then the two had consensual sex on a bed in a bedroom."

The four women and eight men of the jury returned their verdicts after more than two hours' deliberation. They were unanimous in their not guilty verdicts on the counts of rape, indecent assault and incitement to pervert the course of justice by trying to contact a witness. But split over whether he'd tried to pervert the course of justice by asking someone to wash his clothes after police had searched the house. He was cleared by a majority.

The jury did though convict him of a separate charge of incitement to pervert the course of justice. While in prison, the defendant had asked a third party to get in contact with the complainant to ask her to "tell the truth."

Mr Dias has been remanded in custody until his sentencing on 21 July.

 

 

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