Monday, November 16, 2009

RADA graduate cleared of raping student

I would really like to know why the jury didn't believe this. It sounds more like a case of a drunken hookup, than a rape case. But there aren't any clear details on why they entered a non-guilty verdict.

RADA graduate cleared of rape.

A RADA graduate accused of raping a student then trying to befriend her on the social networking site Facebook was cleared of the attack today.

Nick Walker, 21, initially told police he may have 'done it' in his sleep but denied any form of intimacy with the woman when he gave evidence before a jury.

The former Royal Academy of Dramatic Art scholar had told detectives how he often canoodled with his girlfriend while fast asleep before waking and having sex.

But Mr Walker denied having sex with the student during a sleep-over in Finsbury Park, north London, and said: 'I would definitely wake up before that point.

'I don't believe that I would do something like that and not wake up.'

Giving evidence earlier the 21-year-old woman, who came down to London from Manchester for the weekend, said she woke up to find Mr Walker having sex with her on the floor.

She said: 'I felt like this weird sensation had woken me up. When I became conscious I felt Nick inside me. I have no idea how my clothes were removed.'

The alleged victim said she felt 'revolted' and 'repulsed' by the realisation of what was happening.

'I pulled my pyjamas back up so they were fully on and I moved away from him and back on to the cushions,' she said.

'Once I had moved away from him and back on to the cushions, I felt his hand on my hip on the right side.

'He just placed his hand there as I moved away from him. As I brushed his hand off me and I was fully on the cushions, I felt some of the sleeping bag being put over me again. I again brushed that away.'

Mr Walker left the flat for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts early in the morning without a word to his victim, the court heard.

She complained about him to a couple staying at the flat, telling them: 'I woke up in an inappropriate situation and I would like to punch him in the face.'

But the woman failed to mention she had been raped, the court heard.

The woman said she later went online to check her Facebook page.

'I went on the internet and looked at Facebook and I had a friend request from Nick,' she said.

'You have two options, you can click "confirm" in which case the person will be added as your friend or you can click "ignore" in which case they will not be added. I clicked "ignore".'

The woman returned by train to Manchester the next day and made a complaint to police after telling her boyfriend, the court heard.

She added: 'At no point was I attracted to Nick and at no point did I give any signals to him.
'I had no indication from Nick whatsoever that he had any interest in me.'

But the jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court took just one hour to unanimously acquit Mr Walker of rape.

Mr Walker, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent and is the son of Staffordshire Fire Brigade assistant chief executive Christine Walker, wept uncontrollably as the verdict was returned.

The trial heard how the alleged victim - a student from Manchester on a weekend break - had enjoyed drinks with Mr Walker and other RADA scholars at the University of London Union bar.

Mr Walker, the woman and a male student later bedded down on the living room floor of a friend's Finsbury Park flat, the court heard.

The woman insisted she awoke to find Mr Walker having sex with her in the early hours of January 26 last year.

After his arrest: Walker told detectives: 'I can't remember physically doing it.

'I was not drunk and if I did do it, it was in my sleep.'

But under cross-examination by prosecutor Toyin Salako, Mr Walker distanced himself from his earlier comments.

He told jurors: 'At this point in my interview it was getting very late and I wanted to go.

'I was terrified of the situation and I wanted to go home.'

Mr Walker admitted attempting to befriend the woman on Facebook, telling jurors: 'We had got on really well.

'I didn't see any issue of adding her as a friend on Facebook.'

Mr Walker, from Kilburn, north west London, was cleared of rape.

Thanks to AFOR for the link.