British man cleared of rape after new DNA evidence sees conviction quashed in Australia

He spent almost two years behind bars before new tests found profiles of two men, not one

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 28 March 2019 15:26
Scott Harry Richardson
Scott Harry Richardson

A British man who spent almost two years in jail has been acquitted of raping an American woman at a retrial after new DNA evidence came to light.

Scott Harry Richardson, 27, from Bristol, had been accused of attacking the 23-year-old backpacker as she slept during a house party in Sydney, Australia, on 12 December 2015.

He denied the allegations but was found guilty on 13 December 2016 and was ordered to serve at least two years and three months in prison.

Mr Richardson always maintained that he jumped on top of a duvet covering the woman, believing it to be his friend underneath, and left immediately when he realised his error.

After spending more than 21 months behind bars, his conviction was overturned by appeal judges at New South Wales Supreme Court in July last year.

And on Thursday a jury at Sydney’s Downing Centre court returned verdicts of not guilty on two counts of sexual intercourse without consent following a retrial.

The judges heard that DNA tests using a more advanced method than that used during his trial had found profiles of two men, rather than one.