A SOLDIER has been cleared of raping a woman at a New Year’s Eve party.
Colin Louis, 23, hugged his lawyer when he was discharged from the Mold Crown Court dock yesterday afternoon.
A South African national serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster regiment based at the Salamanca Barracks at Limosol, Cyprus, he had been with friends from the Dale Barracks at Chester and went to a party in the c area.
The complainant told the court she went upstairs towards the end of the party because she was staying overnight in the spare bedroom.
She woke up to find a man on top of her having sex, she said. Her leggings and knickers had been removed.
She said she was disorientated, realised it was not her husband, put her hands on his chest to push him back and said “no” but he carried on regardless, said prosecutor Gareth Roberts.
Louis told the court he knew few people at the party. He chatted to one woman who ended up giving him oral sex and they then had intercourse in a bedroom.
They arranged to go to a friend’s home where they could continue their sexual relationship.
After going to the bathroom he went back to the bedroom to get his blazer and said the complainant, another woman, was by then semi-naked in the bed.
She initiated sex with him by stroking him and opening his trousers. He became aroused and had sex with her but it was with her consent, he said.
In evidence, he said he was not proud of himself that night but denied prosecution suggestions that his inhibitions had been reduced after he drank a quantity of Jack Daniels whisky.
He also denied Mr Roberts’ suggestion that he thought he was irresistable to women at the party that night and believed everyone fancied him.
Andrew Green, defending, said Louis had sex with consent with a woman who was at the party without her husband and who had been flirting and had been acting in a ‘girlie’ way with Louis. The complainant denied his allegations.
The jury heard that at the end of the party the woman appeared semi-naked at the top of the stairs and said he had raped her, telling him he would pay for it.
But Louis alleged she had made it up because she saw him laughing and joking in his own language with his friends and claimed she must have thought he had been telling them they just had sex upstairs.
He said he was so concerned that he went straight to Blacon Police Station to clear his name. He denied going there to ‘get his story in first’.
Louis denied rape and the jury of five women and seven men found him not guilty after a 90 minute hour retirement.
Louis said “thank you very much” to the jury and hugged his barrister Andrew Green.
He later said his life had been on hold since January. “I just want everyone to know that I did not do it,” he said.
The court heard Louis had served in the British Army for three years. He said he was now looking forward to resuming his army career.
See full story in the Leader