St Albans rape suspect is cleared

PUBLISHED: 12:19 06 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:44 06 May 2010

RAPE suspect Gary Gibson has been cleared by a jury at St Albans Crown Court. Mr Gibson, 32, of Cottonmill, St Albans, had pleaded not guilty to rape when he appeared in court last week. And the jury heard on Monday that he had been bombarded with text me

RAPE suspect Gary Gibson has been cleared by a jury at St Albans Crown Court.

Mr Gibson, 32, of Cottonmill, St Albans, had pleaded not guilty to rape when he appeared in court last week.

And the jury heard on Monday that he had been bombarded with text messages by his alleged victim after the alleged incident on January 31.

Mr Gibson had been identified as the father of his alleged victim's baby after she had an abortion and the foetus was tested for DNA.

When told about the test he made no comment and later alleged the sex at the woman's home had been consensual.

The woman told the court that Mr Gibson and a woman friend had been drinking at her home on the evening of the offence.

All three had been smoking cigarettes and Mr Gibson had allegedly been smoking skunk cannabis. She maintained that after smoking one cigarette she started to feel "woozy with legs like jelly" before being sick several times and falling asleep on the sofa.

She woke some time later to find her jogging bottoms and underwear around her knees. She claimed Mr Gibson was sexually assaulting her and then raped her.

But phone records showed the woman had sent hundreds of messages to Gibson after that night asking where he was, how he was and if he needed anything.

Once she discovered she was pregnant she told her mother who went straight to the police on February 15 without even consulting her daughter.

Miss Nichola Cafferkey, defending, told the jury it was unlikely that a terrified victim would willingly put herself into the same room as a rapist as often as she did after the alleged rape - let alone "bombard" him with more than 150 text messages in a sample period of three days

She went on: "This does not fit with a picture of a timid, frightened individual."

She said the phone records painted a very different picture but they stopped after February 14 when she allegedly sent him two romantic poems.

That was after she had told her mother about the pregnancy and her mother had reported the incident making it too late to retract the allegation.

Miss Cafferkey said: "The train had already left the station and she may have been frightened of having told an untruth and being accused of wasting police time."

She described Mr Gibson as, "certainly not going to win Man of the Year award and he is not particularly eloquent" but pointed out that did not mean he was guilty.

In her summing-up, Judge Marie Catterson said that Mr Gibson had claimed the alleged victim smoked half a skunk cannabis cigarette on that night before seducing him on her sofa where they had been watching films.

He added that afterwards she had been upset when he told her she was a "slut", offered to pay for a morning after pill and made it clear that the sex had been a one-off which he viewed "as a mistake".


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