Man, 20, cleared of raping woman in Newmarket hotel

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A jury has cleared a 20-year-old of a raping a woman while she slept in a Newmarket hotel bedroom.

Luke Chaplin was accused of raping the woman in January after she had been drinking heavily at a town centre pub.

It took a jury of six men and six women at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday December 23, just over two hours to unanimously find Chaplin not guilty. He left the dock to be greeted by family members.

Prosecuting, David Wilson had alleged that the woman, who can’t be named for legal reasons, had woken up in her room at the Ashley House Hotel in Newmarket’s Old Station Road, to find Chaplin having sex with her.

Chaplin told the jury that nothing had happened between him and the woman, despite her trying to initiate sex between them before he left her room.

He described how he had seen the woman who was “very drunk” while he was at the Golden Lion public house in Newmarket with a group of friends earlier that evening.

Under cross examination the woman admitted she could only remember part of what happened and that she had kissed Chaplin, a wine salesman, who comes from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, while at the pub.

She admitted that she had received and replied to text messages from Chaplin the day after the alleged rape.

In one text she said to Chaplin: “You woke me up by having sex with me.” She said that later Chaplin had called her. “I didn’t know what he was saying, it was frantic. I can’t remember if I said anything back,” she said.


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