Ho­tel rape charge found not proven

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY ANA DA SILVA

A man has been ac­quit­ted of rap­ing a woman at a north-east ho­tel.

Michael Cock­rell had been ac­cused of at­tack­ing the woman at the ho­tel in Peter­head on Fe­bru­ary 27 2017.

Yes­ter­day, a jury took about an hour to re­turn a not proven ver­dict fol­low­ing a three-day trial at the High Court in Aberdeen.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence on his own be­half Mr Cock­rell, of Faith­lie Street, Fraser­burgh, told the court he had con­sen­sual

“The woman had made her­self clear”

sex with the woman. He said the first he heard about the ac­cu­sa­tion was from the com­plainer’s mother when she con­fronted him in a pub eight months later and slapped him across the face.

But dur­ing clos­ing speeches, ad­vo­cate de­pute Lind­sey Dalziel, pros­e­cut­ing, urged the jury to con­vict Mr Cock­rell and said the woman had “made her­self clear” that she was not in the mood.

But Mr Cock­rell’s coun­sel, ad­vo­cate David Mog­gach, en­cour­aged the jury to “chal­lenge” the ev­i­dence, and sug­gested the com­plainer’s ac­count had been “con­tra­dic­tory”.

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