A WREXHAM man has been cleared of raping a teenager on the backseat of his car in a country park.

Kieran John Gracey, 23, of Overleigh Drive, denied the charge, saying the sex between the pair had been consensual and that her claims of rape were simply callous lies.

The jury of eight women and four men took just under an hour to reach its unanimous verdict, following the two-day trial at Mold Crown Court.

It had been alleged had driven an 18-year-old to a secluded spot at Alyn Waters where he grabbed her by the throat and forced himself upon her.

However, Mark Connor, defending, told the court how the evidence presented by the prosecution did not “stack up” and that just because a person says something happened “it doesn’t mean it did”. He said Gracey and the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been talking via the Snapchat application in the early hours of January 21 last year. At around 3am, Gracey asked her to go for a drive in his car, with the intention of going to McDonald’s to buy milkshakes, which she agreed to.

Mr Connor asked the jury to consider why the complainant would have agreed to go out with Gracey in his car at such an hour, particularly if it was true that he harboured feelings for her.

While out on the drive, Gracey pulled into the carpark of Alyn Waters Country Park because he needed to urinate. Mr Connor said his client parked in the first available space, nearest to the park entrance, which was in full view of several neighbouring homes. After getting out of the car and having a wee, Gracey returned and said the complainant started telling him how bad her life was, before she went on to show him pictures of herself, including some of her in her underwear and taking a bath. He said this had aroused his client and that he had asked her if they could have sex, to which she said yes, but only if her on/off boyfriend didn’t find out.

Despite the complainant alleging that Gracey had grabbed her by the throat and forced her head against the passenger window of the car, she had no recollection of how she ended up being raped in the back of the car, only that she presumes she was dragged from the front by force. She allegedly told him to stop, but he wasn’t listening and what began with a violent act, became a struggle in that car.

Despite the claims being made, Mr Connor told the court how the complainant had no visible injuries, other than a slightly bruised wrist, despite being subjected to a forensic medial examination, which he said just didn’t match her version of events.

Andrew Green, prosecuting, had told the court how the complainant had been dropped off at home by Gracey at around 5am and noticed she had received several missed calls from her on/off boyfriend. Mr Green said it was accepted that the boyfriend had asked her if she had been raped, to which she nodded, and it had actually been his mother who rang the police to make the initial complaint.

In response to that, Mr Connor said: “Once that complaint is made, there’s no going back. The wheels of the justice system begin to turn.”

He added how the evidence presented had fallen short and in fact, pointed to the fact it had been consensual act.