Pocklington man found not guilty of rape

Matthew Phillips was found not guilty at York Crown Court
Matthew Phillips was found not guilty at York Crown Court

A man accused of raping a woman at her home has been found not guilty by a Crown Court jury.

Matthew John Phillips, 30, from Pocklington, had been accusing of raping the mother twice after they met in a nightclub in York.

But a jury unanimously found Mr Phillips not guilty on both charges following a week-long trial at York Crown Court.

The court heard that the woman had rung ‘999’ during sex with Mr Phillips, who said she had given her consent.

The woman, who said she only had a sketchy recollection of the events because she had been drinking, had alleged that Mr Phillips wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and that she pushed him away because she was in pain and her mother and children were upstairs.

But Mr Phillips said she had invited him back to her house in York for sex and was a willing participant during the incident in November 2015.

They had met at the Pop World nightclub where they were dancing together and left holding hands. They had kissed and cuddled in a takeaway and inside a taxi on the way to her home.

He said that when they arrived at her home they started kissing and cuddling on the living-room floor and this led to sex.

Mr Phillips said that at no point did the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, object to sex or give the impression that she didn’t want sex with him.

He said he didn’t use any force against her or pin her down, as the prosecution alleged.

The court heard that the woman rang police from her house phone during sex and a police operator heard her say something like “‘Ouch!”. Officers were sent to the property, where she answered the door and Mr Phillips was asleep on the sofa.

Mr Phillips, of Northfield Road, said the woman never pushed him away and insisted that at the time he was unaware she had rung police.

He added: “There came a point where she asked me to stop, so I stopped.”

When asked by prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi how he felt when he was arrested on suspicion of rape, he replied: “Gutted, absolutely mortified, because I wouldn’t do this to somebody.”

Under cross-examination from Ms Wadoodi, Mr Phillips said he was sexually experienced and had had a number of one-night stands, but would never have sex with someone against their will.

He said that while they were out in York, the woman had told him she “hadn’t had sex for a while” and invited him back to her place.

“She said we couldn’t go upstairs because there were children and her mother upstairs,” he added.

Mr Phillips denied the prosecution claim that the woman hadn’t wanted to go any further than kissing and cuddling.

He said she was “fine, happy, normal. Pleasant, nice.”

He said the first alleged rape didn’t happen and the second sexual act had been with the woman’s consent.

Mr Phillips, who wore a grey suit and purple tie throughout the trial, wept with relief as the jury foreman read out the not-guilty verdicts.