Young Belfast man unanimously acquitted of rape
A man was today unanimously acquitted of raping and sexually abusing a teenage schoolgirl.
The Belfast Crown Court jury of seven men and five women deliberated for two hours before finding 22-year-old Kevin Catney unanimously not guilty of 11 charges in total.
They included counts of rape, indecent assault, gross indecency and sexual activity with a child between 13 and 16-years-old on dates between August 19 2008 and November 1 2008.
During the ten-day hearing the jury heard allegations that the behaviour began with inappropriate touching but soon progressed to having sex with the girl and forcing her to perform sex acts.
By their verdicts however the jury have rejected the girl's claims and instead, accepted Catney's version of events that there was "no truth whatsoever" in the girl's evidence.
Giving evidence on his own behalf Catney, from Andersonstown Park in west Belfast, said it was "just ridiculous they thought that I would do that to a young person".
When asked directly if he ever had sex with the girl he told the lawyer: "I have never had sex with her regardless of where - I have never had sex with her."