Cousins cleared in rape case

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The Independent Online
A law student and his cousin, cleared of repeatedly raping his girlfriend after she refused to have sex with both of them at the same time, walked free from the Old Bailey yesterday with a judge's good wishes.

"You leave here without any stain at all on your characters. You are young, put it all behind you and get on with your lives. I wish you all the best," Judge Derek Holden told Julius Ojolola, 26, of Brixton, south London, and Olufemi Simeon, 20, of Tulse Hill, south London. Both men smiled and bowed to him as they left the dock.

The judge said he regretted he did not have the power to compensate them for what they had suffered.

Mr Ojolola has spent six months in custody. His counsel, Patricia May, said he had worked as a night porter to put himself through university and had lost a year of study. Both men are now considering suing the woman.

Expressing his unhappiness with certain aspects of the case, the judge ordered an inquiry into why the defence did not have certain statements, which a judge at an earlier hearing had ordered to be taken, until the beginning of the week.

The men, who had denied rape, were cleared on the judge's direction after Sally Howes, for the prosecution, offered no further evidence.

She explained that had the Crown Prosecution Service known of the statements of two "honest and independent witnesses" earlier, the case would not have gone ahead.

One of these witnesses, a male friend of the 22-year-old complainant, described phoning her during the alleged ordeal.

He said she told him: "They want me to have a threesome - do you think I should do it?"

The other witness, the woman's neighbour, said she had heard no screaming. She heard the sound of a mattress squeaking in the bedroom above.

The complainant had told the jury sex had not taken place in the bedroom. She also insisted she had screamed loudly and repeatedly throughout her alleged all-night ordeal.

The woman told the court the pair had pestered her repeatedly for sex together. She refused and when she threatened to call the police the pair grabbed her and repeatedly raped her despite her protests, she claimed.

Directing the jury to acquit the two men, the judge said it would be improper and unsafe to continue.

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