09:55 27 April 2010
Jack Tweed, the widower of reality TV star Jade Goody, has been cleared of rape charges.
Tweed (22) and Anthony Davis (26) were accused of raping a 19-year-old girl after meeting her at a club in Mayfair on September 4 2009 six months after Goody had died from cervical cancer.
Nightclub promoter Tweed and his friend Davis both denied the accusations, describing sex with the student as consensual. "She was flirty towards me and very friendly," he said.
"We looked at each other and just started kissing. We made eye contact. I may have made the first move. She was kissing me back and had her arms round me, running her hand through my hair and down my back," Tweed said.
Prosecuting, Linda Strudwick had claimed that the woman was "shy" and "sober" and had "made it plain to both defendants that she was not interested in them sexually" but was "frozen with fear" as the pair attacked her.
However, the jury at London's Snaresbrook Crown Court took 15 minutes to declare the pair were innocent after hearing the alleged victim had been excited by being in a celebrity's home and had searched for pictures of Goody, a star of Channel 4's Big Brother.
As the verdicts were read out, there were cheers of celebration from friends and family who packed into the public gallery to support the defendants.
In a statement read by solicitor Phil Smith, Tweed said: "I am relieved that the jury has taken a matter of minutes to see through these scurrilous and completely groundless allegations.
"I'd like to thank my legal team who fought to establish my innocence.
"I now wish to put the last eight months behind me and rebuild my life as a 22-year-old man."
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