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No verdict reached after five-week trial of alleged rape of 15-year-old girl in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 19:39 28 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:39 28 April 2017

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

A jury has failed to reach a verdict in a five-week trial over an alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl in Ipswich.

The teenager was allegedly raped at a house in the town by a group of four men, allegedly members of a gang called “Soldiers of Odin”, on October 16 last year, the court was told during the jury trial.

James Bamber, 29, of Burns Road, Ipswich, had denied conspiring to rape the girl and was found not guilty yesterday.

Today, after a further period of deliberation, jurors were unable to reach a decision on the same charge for the other three Ipswich defendants: Bartosz Kowalewski, 32, of Norwich Road; Mateusaz Nowakowski, 25, of Yarmouth Road; and Aurimas Nabazas, 34, of Lavender Hill. They had all denied the charge.

They were released on bail with conditions.

The Crown Prosecution Service has been given seven days to decide whether to seek a retrial.

Kowalewski had also denied facilitating the travel of the teenager with a view to her being sexually exploited and was cleared of that charge by the jury yesterday.

During the five-week trial, the court heard the teenager met up with Kowalewski on October 16 last year.

The court was told that he allegedly took her to a house in the town which was allegedly used as a clubhouse by him and fellow members of a gang called “Soldiers of Odin”.

The prosecution claimed that Kowalewski telephoned his friends and invited them to come to the house with the intention of plying her with drink and drugs so they could use her for their sexual pleasure.

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, claimed during the trial that the girl was “off her head and out of it” because of the drugs and alcohol that she had been given and was aware of men taking it in turns to allegedly have sex with her.

Before Bamber was cleared, it was claimed during the trial that the alleged victim, who he had not met before that evening, had told him she was 17.

The alleged incident came to an end when police went to the house after the girl’s mother reported her missing.

After the case today, a spokesman for the CPS was unable to confirm whether a decision has yet been reached about seeking a retrial.

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