A MASTERS degree student was cleared of attempted rape after a jury in Preston accepted a female undergraduate at the city’s university had agreed to sexual contact.
Clement Tunnee, 32, was also acquitted of sexual assault against the woman who invited him back to her flat.
A jury of seven women and five men returned unanimous “not guilty” verdicts on both counts after Tunnee claimed the couple had had sex on five or six previous occasions.
The court heard the two had met on campus at the University of Central Lancashire and had become friendly.
In July last year Tunnee had been helping the woman to move some of her property at the end of term.
Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, told the jury Tunnee had gone round to the flat at around 7.30pm, not knowing the woman’s boyfriend was due there at 8pm.
“He asks her if they can go back to the flat for a chat,” he alleged. “They go in – he tries it on with her. She thinks he is joking at first but he becomes more forceful. From that moment on he loses his self-control.”
The incident came to an end when her boyfriend walked into the bedroom.
Tunnee claimed he and the woman had been having a sexual relationship and the contact between them that evening had been consensual.
Kath Johnston, defending, highlighted numerous sexual text messages exchanged between the couple in the time leading up to the incident.
She described the woman as “a strong-willed and determined character” and Tunnee had not always known where he stood with her.