Man cleared of holding ex partner against her will
A 25-year old man has been cleared by a jury of holding his ex-partner against her will in his south Belfast flat and raping her.
Jurors took around two hours to reach unanimous verdicts against the accused, who denied the charges and maintained the mother of his two children could have left his Sandy Row flat any time she wanted.
The foreman delivered not guilty verdicts on three counts of rape, a charge of false imprisonment and common assault.
He has not been named to protect the woman's identity.
During the trial at Belfast Crown Court, both the 21-year old complainant and accused gave different versions of what occurred over the Twelfth last July.
While the woman claimed she was beaten, raped three times and held against her will for several days, and only escaped out a window when her ex went out for food, the accused claimed any sexual activity that occurred between them from July 8 to 13 was consensual.
He did, however, admit a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He claimed she did not want to leave his flat over the period in question as she did not want anyone to see the black eyes he gave her.
Following the compilation of a pre-sentence report, he will be sentenced for the assault on November 23rd. Until then, he remains in custody.