'Nightmare' over as gay Pc cleared

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The Independent Online

A police officer and former Mr Gay UK spoke of his "living nightmare" today after the last of a series of charges he was facing was dropped.

Pc Mark Carter was cleared of raping a man and carrying out two sexual assaults in June.

He was due to face trial later this year on separate charges of possessing the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

But today the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said this case had been discontinued.

Head of West Yorkshire CPS's complex casework unit Peter Mann said: "Having carefully considered expert evidence, we are satisfied that Mr Carter's use of the drugs was for a medicinal purpose within the terms of the Medicines Act 1968 and as such have taken steps to bring the case to an end today."

Speaking to ITV Calendar News, Pc Carter said: "After nearly two years of wait, I have now been found not guilty of all the charges held against me.

"I would like to thank all those who have stood by me: my legal team, West Yorkshire Police Federation, my family and friends and my work colleagues.

"These people have supported me in what can only be described as a living nightmare."

Pc Carter, 28, went on trial at Leeds Crown Court earlier this year charged with sexually assaulting three men and raping a fourth while on a Christmas night out with colleagues.

He was cleared of two rape charges and two sexual assault charges in June.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on another sexual assault charge and this was not proceeded with.

When he gave evidence in the trial, the officer described the "devastating" impact allegations of rape and sexual assault had on his life.

He admitted he had "stupidly" drunk too much on the night out but denied carrying out the assaults.

Pc Carter, from Station Lane, Birkenshaw, Bradford, is a gay officer with West Yorkshire Police and a former holder of the Mr Gay UK title.

He is currently suspended.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Pc Mark Carter remains suspended at this time.

"This case involves an allegation relating to the possession of steroids. A decision regarding disciplinary action remains under consideration."