Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Not Guilty: Rape Accused's "Hell"

Not Guilty: Russell-Wade
An estate agent, cleared of raping a married drunken Australian journalist twice his age during a one-night stand, has revealed his "hell" at being arrested and charged with the offence.

Henry Charles Russell-Wade, 25, picked-up the 50 year-old mother-of-four, who was visiting London for two months, during her first night out in the capital at the Notting Hill Arts Club, Notting Hill Gate.

Isleworth Crown Court was told that afterwards he sent a pic of her slumped on the floor to laughing pals, which read: "LOL. Left this cougar wounded."

However, the complainant's initial phone call to the police was played to the jury, who heard her say: "I'm not claiming I was raped or anything like that."

It was only after a lengthy conversation with a police officer that she was convinced she should make the rape claim.

After the jury found him not guilty Russell-Wade, of Marnham Crescent, Greenford said: "It is disturbing and despicable that the woman in question has been allowed anonymity throughout the last eighteen months.

"I and my family have been through hell and back down to one woman's false allegations to save her marriage.

"It is a disgrace that she can walk away free. I have always been innocent from the day I was arrested."

The jury were told Russell-Wade and the woman were ejected by security for excessive petting on the dance floor then returned in the early hours to her short-let flat after the woman rejected the defendant's advances to have sex in the street.

The woman, who has been in the same relationship for thirty-two years, told police she had no interest in the defendant when he approached her and two other middle-aged women in the club's smoking area, announcing he was out to: "Find a cougar."

"He said he was an estate agent and kept lifting up his shirt to show his six-pack and pierced naval. I was not interested at all, my husband is six foot three and this man was short and skinny," she told the court.

"I thought it was unusual he would seek out the company of more mature women when there were women there nearer his own age. I told him to seek younger company and pointed somebody out."

Prosecutor Mr. David Smith said the woman visited the club alone on the recommendation of her hairdresser and met the two other women inside for the first time.

"They were approached by this defendant, who was obviously half their age, and found it amusing that this young man was being flirtatious with them.

"He made it obvious his mind was on one thing and that was to find a cougar for the night and told them that he would have to show them the quickest way to reach an orgasm.

"The complainant danced with Mr. Russell-Wade and they were kissing on the dance floor and the defendant took her hand and tried to place it down the front of his trousers to touch his penis.

"He claims it is the other way around and and she tried to masturbate him, but in any event security staff approached and asked them to leave."

The woman told the jury: "He came up and started kissing me, which was a surprise to me because I was listening to the music, dancing and had my eyes closed.

"He was forcing his tongue into my mouth, which was unpleasant and I said: 'Be gentle, be gentle.' He pushed me back against a wall. I had nowhere to go.

"I was not in a state to consent to anything and he would be the last man on earth I'd give consent to. I didn't have much chance and he had his tongue in my mouth.

"I'm a married woman with four children and I've never kissed any other man other than my husband.

"My hand was grabbed by him and put inside his trousers and placed on his penis, which was erect."

Mr. Smith explained: "He asked if she would have sex with him in the street, but she said she had a flat nearby and and he helped guide her home and asked to come in.

"She was under no illusion where this was going to lead and anticipated sex would take place, saying her judgement was impaired by alcohol.

"Intercourse began, but she felt sick and asked Mr. Russell-Wade to stop, but he carried on and she says she was in great pain."

The woman later told police: "It went on so long, an hour. I said: 'Enough! enough!.'"

She called police at 2.30pm the following afternoon, added Mr. Smith. "She was concerned compromising photos had been taken of her in her flat and was concerned they would be distributed on the internet."

However, she was already eight hours too late because the defendant had sent images of her to his friends at 6.30am. "He was sending photos. Naked one's of her.

"In one she was on her feet and in another beside the bed on the floor and his friends thought it was all highly amusing and replied: 'LOL.'"

When she called the police the woman told them: "I'm not claiming I was raped or anything like that."

"She then opened up and said sex took place without her consent and there was a significant tone of embarrassment in her voice," said Mr. Smith.

The woman was examined at a 'Haven' centre and bruising and marks were found on her collarbones, forearms, shins, knees and back.

"She also found blood on the sheets of her bed."

Police identified Russell-Wade via an image taken of all customers entering the club and when questioned he denied restraining or grabbing the shoulders of the complainant.

"He said they had very rough sex."

Russell-Wade pleaded not guilty and was cleared of three counts of raping the woman in the early hours of August 10 at the flat in Linden Gardens, Bayswater.

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