Libyan cleared of 2013 rape of English girl

Court holds that several factors created a reasonable doubt as to whether the alleged victim had consented to intercourse

File photo
File photo

A Libyan man has been cleared of the rape of a drunk 27-year-old British woman, who lives in Malta, after a court held that there was reasonable doubt as to whether the alleged victim had consented to intercourse.

Magistrate Josette Demicoli had heard how the 33 year-old had met the British girl for the first time at Bar Native in Paceville, during the early hours of 21st September 2013.

The girl had testified that she had gone out drinking with some friends that night and had consumed several alcoholic beverages. She had woken up in a Sliema residence, half naked, next to an Arab man. She had asked him where she was and how to get home and the man had given her €5 to cover transport. The last thing she said she remembered was meeting a young Irish man,

She filed a police report, saying she suspected that she had been raped by two men.“I knew that I had sex but never, never would have consented,” the girl had told police, as it was “not in her character “to sleep with a person she didn't know and because she had been menstruating at the time.

After the girl noted the address as she left and the accused was subsequently arrested, releasing a highly detailed statement to the police. He had met her while waiting at the bar in Bar Native, he said. The two had shared a drink and the girl started to kiss him. After 20 minutes, she asked to go home “because she was drunk”, but was unable to keep her balance so the accused had hailed a taxi and taken her to his flat in Sliema, where the two had sex. He insisted that whilst she had been tipsy, she was not drunk to the extent of being unable to understand her environment.

One male member of the group of friends she had been drinking with told the court that he had seen the girl leaving the club in the company of two men, but had not been unduly concerned by this. He had asked her where she was going and she had replied that she was leaving. The girl looked “rather drunk,” the witness had recalled.

A court-appointed gynaecologist noted scratches to her posterior and elbows and slight abrasions to her genitals. She was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 289mg/dl, whereas a normal reading would be between the 0-10mg/dl region.

The court held that whilst the evidence that intercourse had taken place was incontrivertible, the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the girl had not consented to it.

It pointed to the fact that the girl's male friend had not been worried at seeing her leaving the bar in the company of strangers.

The bruising to her extremities were found to be compatible with falling over, which the court had been told she had, several times. The accused's flatmate had testified to coming home to find the girl asleep on a mattress. At no time was he questioned by police about the allegation that the girl had been raped by two men, noted the court.

Taking all these factors into account, the court held that reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused persisted and cleared him of all charges.

Lawyer Ludvic Caruana was the man's defence counsel. Police Inspectors Josric Mifsud and Louise Calleja prosecuted.