Man cleared of raping woman he met on Plenty of Fish dating website

PUBLISHED: 12:58 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:34 25 May 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A man has been cleared of charges of raping a 40-year-old woman he met online.

Conrad Nelson, 39, was alleged to have raped the woman after meeting her through the Plenty of Fish dating website.

However he was found not guilty following a four-day trial after the jury retired for more than two hours to consider its verdict.

Nelson, formerly of Raglan Street, Lowestoft, was also cleared of a second charge of assault by penetration on the same woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Nelson claimed the woman made up the allegations after she discovered he had been messaging other women and wanted some kind of “payback”.

Although cleared of all the serious sexual offences, Nelson had been found guilty of one charge of assault by beating on the same woman following a previous trial at Ipswich Crown Court in November last year.

The trial at Norwich had been a re-trial on other matters he faced.

After the jury returned its not guilty verdicts, Judge David Goodin jailed Nelson for 24 weeks for the offence of assault, when it is said he twisted the ankle of the woman and caused her some discomfort.

The court heard that Nelson had been on a curfew tag for 132 days while awaiting his trial and Judge Goodin ordered that the days spent on curfew should count towards his sentence.

During the trial, Nelson’s barrister Andrew Thompson told the jury the defendant, who chose not to give evidence in his trial, had “reasonably believed” the woman had consented to the sexual encounters which took place.

Mr Thompson claimed the woman had “exaggerated” some aspects of the case and allegations about his behaviour and disputed that Nelson had acted in a controlling way towards the woman.

Mr Thompson claimed there may have been an element of “payback” in the allegations when she had found out he had been contacting other women.

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