Lowestoft man cleared of Southwold rape

A jury has taken less than 30 minutes to find a Suffolk father not guilty of raping a woman he walked home from a pub in Southwold.

Clive Bonnett, 46, of Coopers Drive, Lowestoft, had denied raping the woman in April last year and was cleared after a trial lasting three days.

Giving evidence Mr Bonnett told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that the woman had been 'very, very drunk' and had been loud and aggressive while they were in the King's Head in Southwold.

As he was walking her home she had been staggering around and at one stage had started doing a 'pole dance' on a lamppost and had lifted up her dress.

Mr Bonnett, who has no previous convictions, claimed that shortly afterwards the woman had fallen over and when he pulled her up she had put her hand down his trousers.

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He had been shocked and removed the woman's hand before continuing the journey back to her house.

Once there Mr Bonnett said he had helped her into her lounge and had left. Shortly afterwards he heard a loud scream coming from her house and had gone back to see what was happening. As he walked in the woman's phone was ringing and she had handed it to him and asked him to answer it.

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Mr Bonnett said he spoke to the woman's boyfriend on the phone and the woman had then run out of the house and out of sight. He said the woman's boyfriend had been angry and asked him what he was doing in the house.

Mr Bonnett denied having sex with the woman or raping her.

It was alleged that Mr Bonnett and the alleged victim, who were known to each other, had gone for a drink in Southwold and that Mr Bonnett raped her after walking her home.

The woman told the court she was in a relationship at the time of the alleged rape but had felt sorry for Bonnett after his wife left him.

She claimed that back at her house Mr Bonnett had pulled his trousers down and raped her.

She claimed she told him 'No' and said she didn't want to have sex with him because she had a boyfriend.

Cross-examined by Andrew Thompson for Mr Bonnett, the woman denied she had lied about the rape because her boyfriend had been upset at her going to the pub with Mr Bonnett.

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