UK

Jury retires to consider verdict in trial of asylum seeker accused of rape

The trial is being held at Lincoln Crown Court (Joe Giddens/PA)
The trial is being held at Lincoln Crown Court (Joe Giddens/PA) The trial is being held at Lincoln Crown Court (Joe Giddens/PA)

The jury in the trial of an asylum seeker accused of raping a woman weeks after he arrived in the UK has retired to consider its verdict.

Saad Gomaa, 34, denies raping the stranger, who jurors were told was “paralytic” after drinking two bottles of vodka, in Skegness, Lincolnshire, on June 9,

Prosecutors have told Lincoln Crown Court that the victim was “incapacitated through drink” and, therefore, unable to give consent, with Gomaa giving her an unknown substance from a “phial”.

Gomaa, of North Parade, Skegness, arrived in the UK from France on April 28 and was on Home Office bail in a Skegness hotel at the time of the alleged attack in Tower Gardens.

In his evidence, he claimed that he gave the victim some mango juice and that the woman appeared “very happy” during consensual acts.

Giving jurors final directions before they retired on Friday, Judge James House KC said: “When you retire you must reach a unanimous verdict, that is to say, a verdict upon which you all agree.

“Some of you may know that the law allows me to accept a verdict which is not the verdict of you all, but that state of the trial has not yet been reached and it may never be reached.

“At this stage please, you must concentrate on reaching a unanimous verdict.

“There is no pressure of time, ladies and gentlemen.”

The trial continues.