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Couple cleared of rape romp

PUBLISHED: 15:14 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:22 12 August 2010

A COUPLE accused of rape and sexual assault have been cleared by jury. After hearing about a threesome sex romp in a flat in the Ramsden Estate, Orpington, a jury at Croydon Crown Court acquitted a couple who had been accused of forcing a 20-year-old wom

A COUPLE accused of rape and sexual assault have been cleared by jury.

After hearing about a threesome sex romp in a flat in the Ramsden Estate, Orpington, a jury at Croydon Crown Court acquitted a couple who had been accused of forcing a 20-year-old woman into taking part.

Michael Higgins, 33, and 20 year-old Laura Thurston, both of Eden House in Quilter Road, had denied charges of rape and sexual assault by penetration.

They were found not guilty on all the counts.

When the verdicts were announced on August 14, they wept and hugged each other in the dock.

The woman said Higgins made her perform oral sex on him, while Thurston was sexually touching her elsewhere.

She claimed that she had not wanted to get involved, but she admitted that, when she later left the flat with Higgins, she told Thruston she would be back.

"But I didn't mean it," she added. "I thought she would only let me go if I said I would go back.

"I was embarrassed to say I didn't want to do it."

When she met up with her sister soon afterwards, she told her what had happened, and the sister told her she should go to hospital to get checked over.

She went to the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, and from there she was transferred to a rape unit in Camberwell.

Higgins, in evidence, said that everything that had taken place had been with the woman's consent.

ktneditorial@archant.co.uk

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