Student cleared in rape case

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MATTHEW KYDD was cleared yesterday of raping a teenage student whom some fellow students had nominated 'The Slut of the Year'.

It took the jury at Norwich Crown Court 35 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict that Mr Kydd, 21, a student from Read, near Burnley, Lancashire, had not forced the 18-year-old girl to have sex.

The computer studies student refused to comment after leaving court, but his solicitor, Trevor Beckford, said in a prepared statement: 'My client is just glad this is all over. He does not think it should ever have come this far, but at least it has given him the chance of proving his innocence.'

Mr Kydd denied raping the girl, a fellow student, in his room at the Norwich City College residences in January.

He was alleged to have forced her to commit various sex acts during a three-hour attack, including assaulting her with a truncheon.

During the trial, the court was told that the girl had been nominated 'The Slut of the Year' at the college, and was rumoured to have slept with every man in the residences.