Jack Tweed cleared of raping student

Wesley Johnson,Press Association
Monday 26 April 2010 18:22
Jack Tweed was today cleared of raping a teenager.
Jack Tweed was today cleared of raping a teenager.

Jack Tweed, widower of reality television star Jade Goody, walked free from court today after he was found not guilty of raping a student.

A jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court, in east London, took less than 30 minutes to find the 22-year-old club promoter not guilty of two counts of raping the woman at his home on September 4 last year.

The allegations were "scurrilous and completely groundless", Tweed said as he left court.

His friend, Anthony Davis, 26, a property developer, was also cleared of one count of raping the girl, who was 19 at the time of the incident.

Tweed issued a statement through his solicitor, Philip Smith, which read: "I'm relieved that the jury have taken a matter of minutes to see through these scurrilous and completely groundless allegations.

"I now want to put the last eight months behind me and rebuild my life as a 22-year-old young man."

There were roars of delight from a packed public gallery as the not guilty verdicts were returned.

The jury heard the young woman, now a 20-year-old student from Hertfordshire, went with friends to Tweed's house in Brandesbury Square, Repton Park, Woodford Green, east London, after a night out at the Embassy Club in Mayfair.

Her first contact with Tweed was when he started kissing the back of her neck.

She initially tried to laugh it off but Tweed soon became "more heavy-handed", the court heard.

She accused Tweed of raping her by the window sill in his room, but admitted that she went along with it at first kissing him back.

As the situation developed, she said she was "frozen with fear" and her body went into "complete lockdown".

The jury was told the woman "allowed" Tweed to have sex with her and did not protest.

Tweed then had sex with her for a second time on the bed and Davis joined in, the court heard.

Tweed insisted he had no idea his friend was watching them have sex until Davis knelt on the bed.

But Davis admitted he "enjoyed" watching the pair and only joined in when the woman did not protest.

Tweed, who married Big Brother star Goody, 27, shortly before she lost her battle against cervical cancer in March 2009, and Davis, of Stradbroke Drive, Chigwell, Essex, both denied rape.

Under cross-examination by Ronald Jaffa, defending Tweed, the young woman denied making up the rape accusations because she was ashamed of sleeping with two men.

She also denied she was "excited" to be in a celebrity's house and insisted she was not going from room to room looking for photos of Big Brother star Goody.

Tweed denied using the teenager "like a sex object" and told the jury he felt there was "a strong mutual attraction" between them.

He insisted he had no idea his friend was in the room spying on them until Davis knelt on the bed and started having oral sex with the same woman.

He added that the sight of Davis's penis made him feel sick, so he stopped having sex and left the room.

Tweed also denied he changed his version of events since making his defence case statement last month in a bid to help Davis.

Under cross-examination by Sean Minihan, defending Davis, the young woman admitted she gave him oral sex and briefly fondled his genitals, but insisted she had done so because she was paralysed with fear.

She also admitted that she could have said "No" at any point during the alleged rape and would, "most likely", have been heard by her friends outside the door.

Davis admitted he "enjoyed" watching Tweed and the teenager have sex and joined in because she did not protest.

He told police: "She didn't say stop. She didn't say anything to suggest she didn't want it to happen. She didn't say anything at all."

He pulled his trousers down after he saw the woman "leaning back" and looking towards him, the jury heard.

She then performed oral sex on him, after which he asked: "Oh, do you like that?"

He said that she replied: "Yeah."

The student said she went from being a bubbly, active teenager to a vulnerable young woman who only feels safe in the comfort of her own home.

But the jury was shown a series of photos of the victim from her Facebook pages and other online photo-sharing websites which showed her with friends at various bars and clubs in recent months.