Man found not guilty of New Year’s Eve rape

PUBLISHED: 11:00 17 July 2015


An Exmouth man has been found not guilty of raping a drunken New Year’s Eve partygoer after telling a jury she was awake and consented to sex.

Colin Ashley, 52, said he went to check on the woman, who had gone to bed, and had no intention of having sex with her until she kissed him.

The woman was said to be ‘paralytic’ through drink after downing most of a bottle of spirits and consuming shots.

Ashley was found not guilty after telling the jury he had gone to check on the woman’s welfare and she had started to kiss and cuddle him before they had sex.

The prosecution said the woman had been drunk and unconscious when Ashley had sex with her. It was alleged she had no idea what had happened until she woke up the next day with her underwear pulled down and realised someone had had sex with her during the night.

Ashley, of Exmouth, denied rape and was found not guilty and discharged from the dock.

During the four-day trial, he said he had gone into the woman’s room to check on her.

The light was off, but she was awake and told him she was cold and he went to the bedside.

Ashley told the court: “I just put my arm around her to give her a cuddle to warm her up.”

He went on to explain how the woman began kissing him passionately.

“We both carried on and it just seemed to happen,” he said, adding: “We both took our clothes off simultaneously and she got on top of me.”

He told the court: “I did not think about what was going on. It was all very quick and odd.

“I really wish I had thought about it. I would have stopped it. I was not thinking. It did not enter my head whether she was consenting. It is not as if she did not know what was going on.

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