Update: Swimmer cleared of raping woman describes experience as 'horrendus'

Update: Swimmer cleared of raping woman describes experience as 'horrendus'

4.15pm: A Commonwealth Games swimmer found not guilty of raping a woman who claimed he forced himself on her shortly after she had consensual sex with his friend has said the past months had been "horrendous".

In an emotional statement, Otto Putland, 24, who represented Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, said he was glad to have been "vindicated" and thanked his family and friends for their support.

Initially, Putland faced two counts of rape but was cleared of one count following a trial in September last year.

That jury failed to reach a verdict on the other count of rape relating to the same woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and the prosecution decided to proceed with a retrial which started at Cardiff Crown Court last Wednesday.

After the five-day trial, Putland said: "I am obviously very relieved by the verdict and very glad to have been vindicated, but I can't say I am elated.

This has been going on for 18 months and the experience has been too horrendous, not just for me but my family, and especially for my mum.

"I have been very lucky to have such a loving and supportive family and good friends, and I am sorry for what they have been through."

Putland said he hoped they could now all rebuild their lives and that he hoped to be able to do that in privacy.

Otto Putland.
Otto Putland.

3.45pm: A Commonwealth Games swimmer has been found not guilty of raping a woman who claimed he forced himself on her shortly after she had consensual sex with his friend, another top swimmer.

Otto Putland, 24, who represented Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, denied raping the woman after a night out in July 2015 and was acquitted by a jury of seven women and five men at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday.

After hearing the verdict, Judge Jeremy Jenkins told Putland he was "free to leave" and thanked the jurors for the "care and attention" they had given the case.

12pm:The jury in the case of a Commonwealth Games swimmer accused of raping a woman after a night out has retired to consider its verdict.

Otto Putland, 24, who represented Wales in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, faces one count of raping a woman, who had just had sex with his friend, Olympic swimmer Ieuan Lloyd.

The court heard the woman went home with Lloyd to his address in Cardiff after meeting him in a club in the city in July 2015 and had consensual sex with him there.

The prosecution allege that, shortly afterwards, Putland arrived at the address and went into the room where the woman was, raping her after Lloyd left the room.

Putland, of Dinedor, near Hereford, denies rape and told jurors they had consensual sex but that the woman became upset afterwards saying she felt as if she had been passed around.

Sending the jury out on Tuesday, Judge Jeremy Jenkins reminded them of the evidence in the case having previously urged them not to allow emotion to enter into their deliberations.

The court heard Putland started having sex with the woman after getting on to the bed with her but stopped when she said she needed to use the bathroom.

The woman said she called her friend from the bathroom, saying she needed to leave and the next thing she remembered was hearing her phone ring and being back in the bed with Putland inside her again.

Jurors were told that incident had originally been charged as a second count of rape but that another jury had found Putland not guilty of that offence.

In her closing speech, Janet McDonald said the woman did not have a strong or assertive personality but had been "credible, consistent and clear" in her account of what had happened.

She said the woman had "no motive for putting herself through a trial once let alone twice".

"The only motive is to see the truth acknowledged and that truth is that she was raped," she said.

Putland told jurors Lloyd introduced him to the woman after he returned to the house and they started chatting.

He said he wasn't sure when Lloyd had left but described the woman as "very friendly and happy and flirtatious" and said they had consensual sex.

In his closing speech, Christopher Rees, for the defence, said the quality of evidence from prosecution witnesses had been affected by "memory issues" and "in some cases by self-justification".

He said this was not a "court of morals" and added: "Bad sex is not rape.

"Sex after one party has persuaded the other to have sex consensually is not rape.

"Regretted sex is not rape."

Mr Rees said there had been "glaring inconsistencies" in what the woman told people at various times about the night.

"She had the opportunity to say 'no' and she did not say anything," he said.

"She did not stop it. She did not call out to Ieuan Lloyd. She did not call out to anyone at all.

"From that you can infer that she did consent or may have consented."

The trial continues.

- Press Association

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