News Criminal Defence 5th Jan 2023

Paul Renteurs’ client – a serving police officer at the time of the alleged offence – unanimously acquitted of rape

In October 2021 Paul’s client “FM”, then a serving police officer at Lincolnshire Constabulary, went on a night out with friends. FM and the complainant went to a number of bars together before taking a taxi to the complainant’s home address.

The next day, the complainant had no memory at all of a large proportion of the evening but thought that she had had sex. FM was later arrested when a CCTV still of him from the night in question was circulated amongst police officers and he was identified by colleagues. He accepted that he had had sex with the complainant, but maintained that it was wholly consensual.

The prosecution case was that the complainant was so intoxicated that she lacked the capacity to consent, and that FM did not reasonably believe she had the capacity to consent. The prosecution relied on CCTV footage which they said showed the complainant in a state of extreme intoxication, and text messages FM had sent to colleagues about her level of intoxication.

Paul was able to highlight significant flaws in the prosecution evidence. In particular, in cross examination the complainant conceded that in the portion of the night of which said she had a clear recollection, she had been hugging and kissing FM, and holding his hand, and was physically attracted to him: all matters which she denied or had no memory of in her police interview.

After just under four hours of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty.

Paul was instructed by Louise Stephens of Straw and Pearce Solicitors.


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