Dinner guest acquitted of rape

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 April, 1997, 12:00am

A frail former labourer was yesterday acquitted of raping his best friend's wife.

The unemployed 53-year-old was a frequent dinner guest of the woman, his ex-girlfriend. Over the 10 years she had been married, the former labourer's friendship grew with her husband, the High Court had heard.

But the marriage erupted into violence at the dinner table on August 21, 1995, when the husband accused his wife of selling his cigarettes and sleeping with other men to finance her heroin addiction.

He beat the 43-year-old woman, who fled to find comfort in the arms of another man, the court heard. The husband, 55, and the acquitted man tracked her down and the row continued.

The woman claimed her former lover came to her flat the next day and raped her. But a High Court jury acquitted the man after listening to the woman's testimony.

Eric Kwok, defending, tried to have the trial halted, claiming his client suffered from extreme memory loss and could not recall if he had or had not committed the rape. But Mrs Justice Verina Bokhary ruled the case should continue.