Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Chef cleared of 'drunk sex' rape

A chef has been cleared of raping a woman who claims she was too drunk to have consented to sex.

Peter Bacon, 26, of Pilgrims Way, Canterbury, was found not guilty at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday.

He had been accused of raping the solicitor, in her 40s, at her house after he was invited over for drinks by a friend in February 2008.

The judge said the woman's claim that she could not give consent because she was drunk was "completely wrong".

The court had been told the three of them drank about five bottles of wine over an evening before the friend left, leaving Mr Bacon and the woman alone.

How on earth can you be sure of guilt on the account of someone who cannot help one way or the other?
Judith Khan, defending

In the police interview Mr Bacon said he had unprotected sex with the woman, who he had met twice before, after they started kissing and then went upstairs to bed.

He said she got into bed with her clothes on but did not stop him when he removed them.

Mr Bacon told officers she started shouting rape in the morning when he told her they had intercourse.

He then rang 999 to report the incident and went to the police station, and was arrested on suspicion of rape at a later stage.

The woman had told the court she "was too drunk to consent to anything".

Drunken consent

In her final comments prosecutor Kerry Malin claimed Mr Bacon "took advantage of a drunk woman in bed with her clothes on".

She said: "He turned up and could see a woman in drink and it was too good an opportunity to miss."

Judith Khan, defending, said that there was no evidence that the woman had or had not given consent and drunken consent was still consent.

She addressed the jury, saying: "How on earth can you be sure of guilt on the account of someone who cannot help one way or the other?"

Mr Bacon was cleared by the jury of four men and seven women after they deliberated for 45 minutes.



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