Exmouth man cleared of raping woman in alleyway

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

An advertising man has been cleared of raping a woman in an alleyway just minutes after meeting her for the first time in a night club in Exmouth.

Andrew Smith was found not guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court after telling them she had talked about sex in the club and consented to it in the alley.

He was acquitted by the jury on Thursday, March 5, after telling how the woman had given the impression of enjoying it.

Mr Smith, aged 23, of Hawthorn Grove, Exmouth, denied two counts of rape, sexual assault, and assault by penetration. He was cleared of all charges.

During a four-day trial the prosecution alleged he forced her to take part in a series of acts in the alley as they used it as a short cut to a cashpoint machine in the early hours of September 21 last year.

The woman said she told him she did not want sex, but made to engage in sexual activity with him.

Mr Smith said he met the complainant in the smoking area of the Popworld Club in Exmouth and they agreed to have sex with each other before they even left the club.

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He said she told him her preferences when they were chatting over a cigarette and at the bar.

He said they were on their way home to her house when they stopped in the alley next to the Powder Monkey pub and started kissing.

He told the jury she was a willing participant.

Mr Smith said he had been out drinking with friends at five pubs before going on to Popworld and was seven or eight out of ten on a scale of drunkenness.

He met the woman for the first time in the narrow smoking area outside the club and said their conversation became sexual very quickly.

He said things progressed when they got back into the bar.

They kissed and she invited him back to her place for sex.

In his police interview, Mr Smith said the sex in the alleyway had been completely consensual.

He said: "She reacted positively. She seemed to be enjoying it."