A 29-YEAR-OLD man has been cleared of sexually assaulting someone while they slept.
After less than an hour of deliberation, a jury in the Royal Court yesterday unanimously found Kris Lockhart not guilty of the charge of sexual penetration without consent.
It had been claimed that he had taken down the alleged victim’s trousers and touched the complainant while they were sleeping and unable to consent. Mr Lockhart argued that he believed the complainant had been awake and had consented.
On the first day of a two-day trial, the court was told that the complainant had phoned Jersey Action Against Rape. During closing speeches yesterday, Advocate Simon Thomas, prosecuting, said: ‘What happened must have been very serious indeed.’
But in his closing speech, Advocate Mike Preston, defending, pointed out that the complainant had refused a medical examination at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, and told the court that this was because the alleged victim knew that no DNA evidence would be found.
He said the case amounted to one person’s word against another’s and that there was a complete lack of independent evidence.
He told the jury: ‘You may think Mr Lockhart may have committed the offence, or possibly committed the offence, or even probably committed the offence, but that’s not enough. You must be certain.’
He added: ‘Just because someone is upset, it doesn’t mean they are telling the truth. People tell lies or misremember things for all sorts of reasons.’
Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae was presiding.