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Men cleared of rape after Ipswich car park incident

PUBLISHED: 14:38 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:39 25 November 2019

Cumberland Towers on Norwich Road in Ipswich  Picture: SU ANDERSON

Cumberland Towers on Norwich Road in Ipswich Picture: SU ANDERSON

Three men accused of raping a woman in a secluded car park in Ipswich have been unanimously cleared by a jury.

Before Ipswich Crown Court were Gheorghe Mihai, 21, of Osprey Court, Ipswich, Vasile Ciuca, 20, of Waveney Road, Ipswich, and Robert Mihai, 18, of Sirdar Road, Ipswich.

All three denied raping and sexual assaulting the woman on August 25 last year, and were cleared after a two-week trial.

It was alleged that the woman was pulled into a small car park near Cumberland Towers by Gheorghe Mihai, who allegedly kissed her and put his hand down her trousers before forcing her to perform a sex act on him.

During the trial the court heard that a social worker who became concerned after seeing sexual activity between a young woman and a group of men in a car park near his home filmed what was happening on his mobile phone.

The witness had been at home with a friend when he became aware of the woman and three men in a small car park near Cumberland Towers.

The woman was sitting on a wall and two of the men were standing very close to her while the third appeared to be acting as a look-out.

The witness claimed that two of the men appeared to "take it in turns" to have sexual contact with the woman, with one of them getting her to perform a sex act on him and the other touching her breast area.

He was so concerned by what he saw that he called the police and filmed what was happening on his phone, the court heard.

After his arrest Gheorghe Mihai accepted the alleged victim had performed oral sex on him, but denied forcing her to do it.

Robert Mihai denied touching the woman sexually and Ciuca denied acting as a look out.

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