Man freed as evidence is mislaid

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A man accused of rape, false imprisonment, kidnapping, wounding, actual bodily harm and indecent assault was cleared at Reading Crown Court after evidence was lost.

Jurors waited five hours to be sworn in, only to be told by the judge that the case could not proceed because the Crown Prosecution Service was unable to find a series of birthday cards sent to the defendant by the complainant. Defence counsel said the cards proved the woman felt affection for the man, even though she claimed she had been forced to submit to a four-year relationship.