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Jury clear Swansea man of rape in just 35 minutes

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

By Ruth Mosalski

Swansea Crown Court

Swansea Crown Court

A MAN accused of rape has been cleared by a jury, who took just 35 minutes to return their verdict.

Martin Corns had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court facing a single charge of rape.

Mr Corns, 34, denied the prosecution case that the woman was too drunk to consent to have sex with him.

Mr Corns, of Cwrt Ivor Sims, Morriston, closed his eyes as the foreman returned the jury's verdict and audibly exhaled as the not guilty verdict was delivered.

The woman, who cannot be named, had alleged she had been too drunk to consent to have sex with him, saying she only remembered finding Mr Corns on top of her in his then address in Kinley Street, St Thomas.

CCTV was shown of the woman vomiting in the street outside the Reflex bar in Wind Street. She said she had been drinking alcohol with dinner before drinking pitchers and cocktails during the night out on February 11.

She met Mr Corns as the pair both smoked outside the bar. CCTV showed Corns approaching her and the pair sitting talking outside the bar at around 2.30am.

He said he had already drunk around 10 bottles of beer on the night and described himself as "merry".

Two of her friends were then shown approaching the pair, offering the woman to go and get food with them, but she declined, deciding to stay with Mr Corns.

He said the pair were enjoying "drunken banter" before he invited the woman back to his house. When she agreed, the pair flagged a taxi down at the top of Wind Street and went back to his address.

A taxi driver told the court the woman was "well-oiled", something Mr Corns admitted, but the taxi driver also said the woman was struggling to sit up and was not capable of speaking, something Mr Corns denied.

Mr Corns said the pair went into his house and had consensual sex twice in the living room, but during the second time the woman began to panic.

She then told him she had a boyfriend and Mr Corns said the "mood had changed".

Mr Corns said he "could see that guilt was upon her" and she began getting dressed before leaving the house.

The jury were read a series of text messages sent by the woman to family and friends where she said she had "done a terrible thing" and cheated on her long-term boyfriend.

While giving evidence, she was asked about the messages, and said: "That's how I felt, I knew something had happened," but told them she thought she was too drunk to consent.

She said she could not remember large parts of the evening but said she felt "physically sick" to think she could have had sex with anyone other than her boyfriend.

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