A sheet metal worker found not guilty of rape has spoken of his 14 months of torment after being cleared by a jury.
Samuel Waddington, 26, told police he had consensual sex with a girl in his apartment at the Windsor Hotel, Bridlington. Despite CCTV evidence which showed them holding hands and a witness in the club who saw them kiss, police refused to stop his prosecution. He was charged with rape and was forced to confess to his girlfriend he had cheated on her and the one-night stand had turned on him. Waddington, of Windsor Crescent, Bridlington, spent 14 months protesting his innocence, before a jury at Hull Crown Court took a mere 40 minutes to find him not guilty of rape after a four-day trial.
Mr Waddington was hugged by his father and girlfriend outside court. Mr Waddington said: “I always knew I was innocent. It has just taken so long.
“I can’t believe someone could be so cruel and make up a false allegation like this. I have been named, yet she has got to remain anonymous. You can’t believe how hard it has been on my family.”
He admitted: “I did a stupid thing that night, cheating on my girlfriend, that is my biggest regret.”
His barrister Mark McMckone had earlier told the jury: “This is not a case of rape. It is a case of two people having consensual sex. It might be unpleasant that he was not truthful with his girlfriend and he did not contact this girl again. It may be morally reprehensible, but it is not unlawful and you should not convict him of rape.”
Mr Waddington said he had gone to the club with mates for a drink and saw the girl and began flirting and then kissing. He said he had bought her a drink and they agreed to go to his home.
“We left holding hands. She did not say no funny business. I thought I had pulled. When we left the club I hoped we would have sex. She never once said to me she did not want sex.”
He said once back at his apartment: “We were kissing straight away. She took my T-shirt off. I could not undo her dress.” He said they had sex. “She never said no or stop.”
“She left and seemed to be happy. She put her number in my phone. I deleted her number because I felt guilty that I had cheated on my long-term girlfriend.”
The girl’s character was attacked in court as someone who had once claimed four boys in a car had stopped her and made sexual references. The defence case was she later admitted she had been flirting with them and lied about her age.
The girl told the jury she had walked back to the hotel without holding hands or cuddling, but CCTV evidence contradicted her account.
Speaking outside court Mr Waddington thanked his friend and family who have stood by him.
He said: “It’s been a very hard few years. I nearly died in a motorcycle accident. I lost part of my leg.
“The driver has never been prosecuted. I have been through rehabilitation and then this. I want to thank my solicitor, barrister, dad, family and my girlfriend.”