A MAN has spoken of his “nightmare” after being cleared of a harrowing alleged rape.
Anthony Evans, 25, found himself in the dock after he was accused of carrying out the serious sexual assault on a teenage girl.
But after a four-day trial at Teesside Crown Court, Mr Evans was formally found not guilty of the charge yesterday.
After being cleared, Mr Evans spoke of his relief and also his “nightmare” last year.
He told the Mail: “I just feel so relieved. It’s had a big impact on me and my family.
“I’m speechless. It has been the last eight months I have been going through this.
“It’s been a nightmare.”
Mr Evans, a scaffolder from Laburnum Square, Trimdon Station, faced years behind bars if he was convicted of the charge.
It was alleged that he dragged the girl before he overpowered her and raped her.
She claimed Mr Evans callously laughed in her face afterwards and that she bit him on the arm.
Mr Evans told police he had consensual sex with the girl.
He added yesterday: “I was worried what could happen if I got found guilty. I could have got a long time in jail for something I didn’t do.
“I’m just glad to get it over with and I’ve been found not guilty.
“I just want to get on with my life now.”
The trial collapsed after the alleged victim, who cannot be named, gave numerous conflicting accounts in her police interviews and in court.
The prosecution decided to drop the charge yesterday lunchtime after discussions with senior lawyers in the Crown Prosecution Service.
Judge George Moorhouse told the jury: “The prosecution, having reviewed it and having discussed it at a high level, are not going to offer any further evidence.”
The jury returned a not guilty verdict on the direction of Judge Moorhouse.