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Jury discharged after rape trial video row

PUBLISHED: 15:57 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 August 2010

A JURY in a rape case was discharged after evidence called into question the allegations against a 17-year-old boy. The teenager denied four counts of rape against a 14-year-old girl in Downham on Tuesday but further investigation of video evidence showe

A JURY in a rape case was discharged after evidence called into question the allegations against a 17-year-old boy.

The teenager denied four counts of rape against a 14-year-old girl in Downham on Tuesday but further investigation of video evidence showed that the alleged victim claimed he had attempted to rape her but not succeeded.

The confusion arose because a 15-year-old has already pleaded guilty to attempted rape alongside a 16-year-old who has admitted three counts of rape. But further examination of the victim's video evidence claimed that it was the teenager in the dock that attempted to rape her, not the 15-year-old.

The victim alleges that the 15-year-old succeeded in raping her twice and Judge Caru said he could now face a retrial for more serious charges.

He told the jury as he discharged them last Wednesday: "It is no longer possible to continue with you as our jury today. There was only one attempted rape and we cannot ask you to consider this defendant with that charge when another has already pleaded guilty to it."

The jury had earlier heard that she had her hair set on fire and was threatened with death during a rape ordeal that last for hours.

She told police she had met the 16-year-old defendant on the internet through a friend and

they agreed to meet for the first time after school.

She was taken to a flat in Downham where the other two boys were waiting and told to go into a small bedroom where she was raped by the 16-year-old.

On a police tape played in court, she said: "I feel disgusting. I thought he was a friend but a friend wouldn't do that to a friend."

She claims that after the attack she was locked in a downstairs room until the 16-year-old let her out, some hours later when she was finally allowed to go home.

She tearfully told her parents and her sister what had happened who then called the police.

Medical examinations showed that she had internal bleeding.

Police arrested all three of the youths on October 25 and when they searched the property they found 17 opened and used condoms and wrappers.

A new jury will be sworn in on a date to be set.

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