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Felixstowe man James Heathcote cleared of rape

PUBLISHED: 18:08 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:08 14 December 2017

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

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A Felixstowe man accused of raping a 16-year-old girl more than a decade ago has been cleared by a jury.

Before Ipswich Crown Court was James Heathcote, 29, of Parkeston Road, Felixstowe, who denied raping the teenager in 2006.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for more than five hours.

Giving evidence during the trial Heathcote told the court his father Philip was a victim of a terrorist shooting in Tunisia in 2015. He denied raping the alleged victim and said he didn’t know her.

It was alleged by the prosecution that the 16-year-old went to Heathcote’s house in Parkeston Road to watch a horror movie and was sitting on his bed when he allegedly started trying to undress her.

She allegedly told him: “I don’t want to do anything like that” several times but Heathcote had allegedly persisted in the same way for about 20 minutes until she stopped fighting back.

Heathcote had then allegedly pulled off her jeans and underwear and had sex with her.

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