Man cleared of raping and strangling woman

PUBLISHED: 16:51 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:51 11 November 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A man has been found not guilty of stabbing, strangling and raping a woman.

Nathan Atkins, 28, had denied of a series of offences against the woman, who cannot be named, including two counts of rape, two counts of assault by beating and making a threat to kill her.

The jury of seven men and four women took just over three hours to reach its unanimous verdicts at Norwich Crown Court on Monday, finding him not guilty of eight offences.

The prosecution had alleged Atkins, of Ber Street, Norwich, twice "forced himself" on the woman and raped her after "demanding sex".

During the trial, Atkins gave evidence, denying all the offences.

He told defence barrister Jude Durr he had not made a phone call to the complainant warning her that he was go "get four men and come and kill you".

Mr Durr then asked Atkins whether he had "ever threatened to kill" the woman "on that day or any other".

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Atkins said he had not.

He also denied forcing her head under water in the bath and taking her by the hair and smashing her head against the radiator.

The court had also heard his police interview.

When asked by officers if he did "any of these things" he replied "No".

Police asked him if he ever "assaulted or raped her".

Again he replied "no".

When asked if he had twice raped her he refuted the allegation, stating "that's just sick".

The jury also found him not guilty of other offences including unlawful wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm .

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