Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Former DUP councillor found guilty of rape bid

Former DUP councillor William Wilkinson

A former DUP councillor has been found guilty of attempting to rape a woman in her Co Antrim home.

William Wilkinson, from Tully Road, Portglenone, bowed his head as the verdict was delivered by a jury of five women and seven men at Antrim Crown Court yesterday.

The trial of the 33-year-old, who is a project co-ordinator with the victims’ group Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR), began on May 18.

He was charged with attempted rape and the rape of a woman on August 21, 2008.

Wilkinson, who left the DUP three years ago and now sits as a United Unionist Coalition Party member, denied both charges.

The jury are to return to Antrim Crown Court today to resume their deliberations on a charge of rape.

During the seven-day trial Judge Geoffrey Miller had heard the alleged rape and attempted rape occurred after both Wilkinson and the woman returned from a night out drinking.

The woman, who was described as a casual acquaintance of Wilkinson, said once home she changed into her nightwear and got into her double bed. She claimed Mr Wilkinson followed her and raped her.

The defendant, however, said they had consensual sex.

The court heard that during the struggle the woman managed to make a 999 emergency call.

The call, which lasted 115 seconds, heard the woman repeatedly saying “get off, get off”.

The court heard that Wilkinson was three times over the legal drink driving limit and the woman was also drunk.

Mr Wilkinson said that the alleged victim had criticised him as he was “just down for a feed of drink”, the atmosphere soured and he was attacked by the woman.

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