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Lobbyist cleared of male rape charges

A political consultant and lobbyist was cleared of rape today by a jury.

Andrew Stallard, 41, of Llandaff Road, Cardiff, south Wales, was found not guilty of two separate charges of male rape.

Mr Stallard had insisted he was innocent of both charges during his trial at Newport Crown Court.

He claimed that sex had been consensual on each occasion.

He had been accused of drugging his victims by placing a cloth dowsed with amyl nitrate over their face.

The jury today took just two hours to conclude that his version of events was the correct one.

After the verdict Mr Stallard said: "I'm going to put it all behind me."

For one of the charges he faced, Mr Stallard was accused of luring a younger man back to his home with the promise of vodka after meeting him outside a Cardiff nightclub.

He was accused of drugging and raping him once there but Mr Stallard insisted everything that happened had been consensual.

"I'm extremely relieved. It's been going on for 18 months and I don't think it should ever have been brought," he told the Western Mail, in Cardiff.

"It has been a pressure on me, of course, but more for members of my family - my parents and my brother - who have stood by me all along.

"I'm going to put it all behind me. I'm not sure what I'm going to do any more as far as work is concerned."