Derry man (35) not guilty of Spanish rape charge

Bishop Street courthouse.
Bishop Street courthouse.

A thirty-five years old Derry man has been found unanimously not guilty of raping a seventeen years old student in the bedroom of a hotel in Spain five years ago.

He was cleared yesterday at Derry Crown Court of raping the woman while she was on a holiday with family members and friends in the Spanish tourist resort of Torremolinos on August 11, 2014.

Following just twenty-eight minutes of deliberations, the jury of seven men and five woman, after a six day trial at Derry Crown Court, acquitted the defendant, Michael Cregan from Ferguson Street, of a single charge of rape.

It was the first case of its kind to be held in the North involving a resident of the United Kingdom going on trial for an offence which allegedly occurred outside the United Kingdom.

During the six day trial the complainant had alleged that the defendant had raped her as she slept, following a day’s drinking, in the bedroom which they shared with two other adults in the Costa del Sol resort outside Málaga in Andalusia.

The defendant, during his evidence, told the jury that he twice had consensual sexual intercourse with the complainant on the night in August 2014 that she claimed that he had raped her.

Following the unanimous not guilty verdict, the trial judge, Judge Philip Babington, told the defendant that he was free to go.

Members of the complainant’s family in attendance were visibly upset when the jury forewoman announced the not guilty verdict in the courthouse in Bishop Street on Monday.