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Unanimous jury finds man 'not guilty' of sleeping sex assault

Unanimous jury finds man 'not guilty' of sleeping sex assault

Wednesday 01 February 2023

Unanimous jury finds man 'not guilty' of sleeping sex assault

Wednesday 01 February 2023

A 29-year-old man accused of committing a sexual assault while the alleged victim was sleeping has been found 'not guilty' after less than an hour of deliberation by a jury.

Kris Lockhart, whose trial began in the Royal Court on Monday, had denied a single charge of sexual penetration without consent.

It had been claimed that he had taken down the sleeping complainant's pyjama bottoms and touched the complainant. Mr Lockhart argued that he believed the complainant had been awake and had consented.

He had later texted the complainant that he "misread" the situation and said he was sorry.

On the first day of a two-day trial, the court was told that the complainant had phoned Jersey Action Against Rape. During closing speeches yesterday, Advocate Simon Thomas, prosecuting, said: "What happened must have been very serious indeed."

But in his closing speech, Advocate Mike Preston, defending, pointed out that the complainant had refused a medical examination at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre/ He told the court that this was because the complainant knew that no DNA evidence would be found.

He said the case amounted to one person's word against another's and that there was a complete lack of independent evidence.

He told the jury: "You may think Mr Lockhart may have committed the offence, or possibly committed the offence, or even probably committed the offence, but that's not enough. You must be certain."

Emphasising that the jury must be "certain", he added: "Just because someone is upset, it doesn't mean they are telling the truth. People tell lies or misremember things for all sorts of reasons."

The jury were unanimous in their conclusion that Mr Lockhart should be cleared of the offence. Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae was presiding.


Defendant texted apology after alleged sexual touching

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