A man accused of raping a woman in Preston city centre has been cleared.
Preston Crown Court heard the woman first spotted Adam Weatherall in Cafe Manyana, Church Street, and later ran into him in Brown’s nightclub, Glover Street on the night of August 14 last year.
Recognising him from earlier, the court heard the woman danced with Weatherall before going to the cash machine with him.
But the jury heard she was grabbed and pulled down a ginnel near The Academy, where it was alleged Weatherall, of Carberry Avenue, Grimsargh, assaulted her.
The court heard the woman walked away towards Avenham but Weatherall followed her.
When she reached the grass verge by the side of the multi-storey carpark, the prosecution said Weatherall raped the woman, holding something cold to her face.
At around 4.30am, two people walking past saw what was happening and heard the woman screaming and Weatherall ran away, the court was told.
However throughout the trial the 20-year-old maintained that the woman had consented to having sex with him.
The jury accepted his explanation and returned a not guilty verdict to charges of rape and possession of an offensive weapon in public.
Weatherall was acquitted.