Former Sunderland soldier 'glad its all over' after being cleared of rape charge

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A Wearside former soldier has been cleared of rape.

Stephen Shayo, 34, said he was "glad it's all over" after he was cleared of the single allegation by a jury at Teesside Crown Court.

Mr Shayo, who said he didn't wish to say any more about the case, was charged with rape after he had sex with a woman he met on a night out in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

The woman told the jury she had been out with friends in nearby Richmond, before going to the Louis nightclub in Catterick for the last part of her evening.

Under cross-examination from Christine Egerton, defending, the woman conceded she had taken a lot to drink, and could not remember much of the evening.

She was unable to recall getting into a taxi with Mr Shayo, even though there was CCTV evidence to show she did.

The woman said she spent some time sitting with Mr Shayo on a grassed area outside Louis in the early hours.

The pair spoke about the recent Brexit vote, and she had given Mr Shayo a hug because he appeared upset at the prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the EU.

She said she remembered Mr Shayo being at the front door of her house, but had gone to bed thinking he had gone.

Mr Shayo, who gave evidence assisted by a Swahili interpreter, told the jury the couple had a consensual sexual encounter on her sofa, before going to bed together.

Mr Shayo, of Allendale Road, Sunderland, said they had intercourse more than once, and it was clear to him the woman was a willing participant.

The jury found Mr Shayo not guilty of rape after a trial lasting three days.