Belfast Telegraph

Rape case jury 'wrongly directed'

Jurorswho convicted a former unionist councillor of rape were given flawed directions on the law dealing with the offence, the Court of Appeal has been told.

William Wilkinson's lawyer also claimed the woman he was jailed for sexually assaulting had planned to "cry wolf" to get him out of her home.

The 34-year-old, formerly of Tully Road, Portglenone, Co Antrim, is serving a seven-year sentence for rape and attempted rape in August 2008.

A jury which found him guilty last year heard he had been drinking before going to her home.

He claimed the woman consented to sex but made an emergency 999 call after falling out with him because of his drinking.

Richard Weir QC, for the Crown, argued that the jury was properly instructed and advised.

He told the court there was "no lacuna in the charge" and that Wilkinson had claimed throughout that the woman fully participated in consensual sex.

Mr Weir added: "When it all went wrong he gave as a reason that she was fitting him up, not just a question of 'shock, horror, there has been a misunderstanding'.

"That was the case run from start to finish."

Judgment was reserved. Lord Justice Girvan, sitting with Lord Justice Coghlin and Mr Justice Hart, said their verdict should be given within weeks.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph