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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 21:01 GMT
Presenter cleared of raping man
Nigel Wrench
Nigel Wrench denied all the charges he faced
BBC Radio 4 presenter Nigel Wrench has been cleared by a jury at the Old Bailey of raping a man he met at a New Year's Eve Party.

Mr Wrench, 47, from Finsbury Park, north London, had denied a charge of rape, saying he had consensual sex with the man in January 2007.

He told the court he took cocaine with the 27-year-old before they returned to Mr Wrench's flat.

His defence had urged the jury to ignore any feelings of repugnance.

'Lost consciousness'

Earlier, the jury was ordered to return not guilty verdicts on charges of sexual assault and supplying the drug Temazepam with intention to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Michael Shamrock said there was insufficient evidence for a conviction on those charges.

Mr Wrench did not make any comment after the verdict on Friday.

A BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC is aware of the verdict."

During the trial, the other man told the jury he had lost consciousness after taking a gulp of Champagne given to him by the defendant.

He alleged he woke later in the day to find himself being punched about the head and was then forced to perform a sex act.

During his trial, Mr Wrench said he believed the man was enjoying himself and had agreed to perform an act on him.

The last thing... I would have done is to harm him
Nigel Wrench

Mr Wrench said the pair had come back to his flat and drunk Champagne.

"The last thing - that is the irony of the situation, isn't it? - I would have done is to harm him."

He said he had met the man a few nights before the New Year party and that there had been a "spark" between them.

He said that he had offered the man the opportunity to come to the studio and watch him record his show for work experience.

He denied plying the man with date-rape drugs.

"He seemed to me to be fully in control of his faculties," Mr Wrench said.



SEE ALSO
BBC presenter denies rape claim
07 Feb 08 |  London
Presenter 'bullied rape victim'
05 Feb 08 |  London

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