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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Snooker player cleared of rape
Quinten Hann
Quinten Hann denied raping the woman
Snooker player Quinten Hann has spoken of his relief after he was cleared of raping a woman in a hotel room.

He said outside the Old Bailey on Tuesday: "It has been tough. I can get on with the rest of my life now."

The 21-year-old South African university student was not in court to hear the jury find Mr Hann not guilty.

She claimed Mr Hann had raped her after she returned with him to his suite in the Savoy Hotel, in London, after meeting him on a night out in October last year.

'Wizard from Oz'

Mr Hann's mother, Amanda, said after the verdict the family were "totally relieved" and that it was "the right verdict".

The trial Judge Timothy Pontius also told the jury he agreed with the verdict, although he added that "my personal view is neither here nor there".


As much as a woman can go after a man, she went after me

Quinten Hann
The student had told the court she was drunk after drinking champagne and a Sex on the Beach cocktail with Hann and his friends at a club.

She had walked to his flat and did not object to him kissing her or to sitting astride a naked Mr Hann as they talked about his business interests.

But she said he had ignored her pleas to stop when he tried to make love to her on the floor of the lounge.

Mr Hann, ranked 14th in the world and known in snooker circles as the Wizard from Oz, had insisted throughout the nine-day trial that the woman had made a play for him.

Sponsors pulled out

"I did not try to seduce her," he said. "As much as a woman can go after a man, she went after me."

He said he stopped making love to her, about 15-20 seconds after he started, when she said she was feeling guilty about her boyfriend.


The victim was and remains Quinten Hann

Ugo Palazzo, lawyer
The woman had left his 2,000-a-week flat in the Savoy Apartments in The Strand without making any complaint to him or her friend who was in a bedroom with his friend Darren James.

Mr Hann told the court he had lost his sponsorship following the rape allegation.

His lawyer Ugo Palazzo said afterwards the case should not have been brought to trial.

"A celebrity like Quinten is often exposed to a greater risk of false allegation than ordinary members of the public and the consequences are far more damaging regardless of final outcome.

"The fact that Quinten did not benefit from the anonymity afforded the complainant meant, sadly, that in this case the victim was and remains Quinten Hann."


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25 Jun 02 | England
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