A NEWPORT man has been found not guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl he met on a bus.
Jonathan Swift, 25, of Canon Street, was charged with raping the teenager in an alley in the Malpas area of the city on Saturday, March 1, but was found not guilty by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday.
As an alternative charge, he was found guilty of engaging in sexual activity with a child under 16 and guilty of breaching his sexual prevention order.
The jury had previously heard Swift admitted sexual activity took place with the girl but he said he did not have reasonable belief that she was under 16.
Swift said he had asked the girl her age and she told him she was 17 while the pair were still on the bus.
Defending barrister Hilary Roberts told the court that if the girl was as scared of Swift as she had claimed, she could have stayed on the bus instead of getting off at the same stop as him.
He also questioned if instead of feeling scared, the girl actually enjoyed the “flirtatious” nature of their conversation and told the court that she lied about being raped to avoid being told off for being late home.
By approaching the girl, Swift also breached an order served in May 2010 after he admitted a sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl.
He was banned from approaching, speaking to, or being with any child who were not family members, for ten years.
The jury of six men and six women reached their verdict after three hours and 30 minutes.
A woman who said she was the first person to see the girl after the incident has previously told the court it was clear something was wrong because she was crying, distressed and agitated.
The girl’s mother, who was called as a witness during the trial, told the jury her daughter was “hysterical”
after the incident and had self-harmed.
Judge Tom Crowther QC called Swift a “danger to women”. He will remain in custody and will be sentenced on July 8.