UPDATE: Estate agent found not guilty of rape
An estate agent has been found not guilty of raping and intimidating a woman he met in Bury St Edmunds on a night out.
It took a jury at Ipswich Crown Court just under three hours on Thursday to clear Guy Hoffman, 25, of Norwich, who had denied three charges of rape and one of witness intimidation.
The court had heard how Hoffmann and his cousin had met the 53-year-old woman in the early hours of August 24 last year and had asked her for a lift home.
After being driven home, Hoffmann had gone indoors with her where after having consensual sex with her had raped the woman, alleged prosecutor Peter Clarke.
The prosecution claimed Hoffmann had slapped the woman and put his arm across her throat until she almost passed out.
Mr Clarke also alleged that on October 5, Hoffmann met the woman by chance in Flex nightclub in Bury St Edmunds.
After driving Hoffmann to his home the woman had allegedly been raped twice more by him, said Mr Clarke.
Giving evidence, the woman denied having invented the allegations and dismissed suggestions by the defence that she made them up because she was upset when Hoffman failed to contact her after their first meeting.
After the not guilty verdicts were announced, Judge Martyn Levett told Mr Hoffmann that he was free to leave the court.
Following Mr Hoffmann’s acquittal, his solicitor Alexander Curnow made the following statement on his behalf.
“Mr Hoffmann’s life has been thrown into turmoil by these allegations and he has had the worst fifteen months of his life during which he has been exiled from his hometown in Suffolk.
“He is delighted that the jury have found him innocent after just two hours of deliberations.
“He now wishes to spend time with his family and continue from where he left off.”