Anne Keothavong’s husband has been cleared of rape after the tennis star broke down in court docket and branded a US girl’s intercourse assault claims ‘a sick joke’.
Jurors took lower than an hour to unanimously acquit Andrew Bretherton, 49, of two counts of rape alleged to have taken place greater than 14 years in the past in Could 2008.
The lady, who can’t be named for authorized causes, claimed that he pinned her face down on the mattress so she could not breathe earlier than forcing himself on her with out her consent.
Nevertheless, the Oxford-educated company lawyer, who’s a semi-professional tennis participant himself, was discovered not responsible after inconsistencies in his alleged sufferer’s proof had been identified in the course of the two-week trial at Internal London Crown Courtroom.
Mr Bretherton married the previous British No 1 tennis star in 2015, they usually have two youngsters.
Andrew Bretherton, 49, pictured exterior Internal London Crown Courtroom, was accused of raping the girl, who can’t be named for authorized causes, at his flat in Kensington, south west London, in Could 2008
Bretherton, pictured along with his spouse former British tennis primary Anne Keothavong, proper, denied the allegation
His spouse broke down in tears in court docket as she described her husband as a ‘implausible individual’ who has ‘by no means been remotely aggressive’ when she gave character proof on Monday.
Mr Bretherton, who had purchased a packed bag with him, confirmed little seen emotion because the jury foreman mentioned he was not responsible of every cost whereas his spouse wept within the public gallery.
After the decision, Decide Jane Rowley advised jurors: ‘The widespread sense view was clearly proven on this case and also you got here to the best verdicts.’
She advised Mr Bretherton: ‘As I’m certain you perceive, as soon as a criticism is made the officers are solely doing their job.
‘You held your held excessive and answered all of the questions.
‘I want you and all your loved ones the easiest for the long run.’
The previous tennis champion and her husband hugged and kissed exterior the courtroom after the case completed.
Neither of them wished to make any touch upon the decision.
The alleged rape sufferer waited for 10-and-a-half years earlier than naming Mr Bretherton to police.
He was first advised concerning the rape allegations in January 2019, and was charged in November final yr.
The lady advised police that Mr Bretherton had performed Welcome to the Jungle by Weapons ‘N’ Roses earlier than attacking her.
However it later emerged that she had by no means talked about that when she visited a rape disaster middle inside every week of the alleged assault.
The court docket heard the girl solely turned fascinated by taking the case additional after studying a few civil go well with Harvey Weinstein was going through in Britain.
Attorneys for Mr Bretherton additionally claimed she had given conflicting accounts concerning the alleged rape and tried to stop among the proof from being disclosed.
Throughout cross-examination, his lawyer Sarah Forshaw KC advised jurors that there have been too many inconsistencies within the alleged sufferer’s account for them to ensure that she was telling the reality.
She additionally mentioned the alleged sufferer didn’t ask him to cease in any respect in the course of the first alleged assault, though the alleged sufferer mentioned her head was face down on the pillow and he or she could not breathe.
Ms Forshaw KC mentioned ‘widespread sense’ ought to make jurors query why she didn’t instantly report it to police.
The court docket heard she advised a rape disaster middle in 2008 that she had agreed to take her trousers off, however advised police 10 years later that he had ripped them off.
Earlier within the trial, jurors had been advised the alleged sufferer turned fascinated by taking the case additional after studying a few civil go well with Harvey Weinstein was going through in Britain, a declare she denied
Additionally it is claimed she had modified her account from saying she had been slapped by him on the buttock to slapped on the thigh as she ‘knew’ the disaster middle stories would present the harm was on her thigh.
She reported the alleged assault in October 2008 however hesitated to press fees on three events earlier than agreeing to be interviewed by police the next month.
The court docket was additionally advised she had at one level mentioned she felt ‘bullied’ into urgent fees by law enforcement officials, and had been ‘interrogated’ and ‘made to really feel just like the perpetrator’ by cops.
Earlier within the trial, jurors had been advised the alleged sufferer turned fascinated by taking the case additional after studying a few civil go well with Harvey Weinstein was going through in Britain.
She denied this and mentioned she had already spent three years researching how she might take the case ahead.
The November 2017 piece on the Deadline Hollywood showbiz website mentioned £300,000 might be paid out to a girl who had sued Weinstein.
Bretherton’s alleged sufferer contacted Jill Greenfield, a associate at London regulation agency Fieldfisher, about how her personal case and requested for recommendation.
They’d discussions, however Ms Greenfield suggested her it was unlikely a civil declare would achieve success as a result of there was not sufficient proof, jurors had been advised.
The court docket was additionally advised she initially refused to offer police entry to sure materials corresponding to her therapist’s data.
Mrs Forshaw KC advised jurors: ‘It would be best to take into account whether or not she is an individual who has the power to dramatize a superbly strange accident.
‘She has grown to persuade herself of her personal reality and her personal interpretation of what really occurred which is much much less sensational, far much less dramatic and totally embarrassing.’
Brian O’Neill KC, prosecuting, mentioned the alleged sufferer had given a ‘broadly constant’ account of the alleged assault.
He advised jurors: ‘Fairly why she waited so long as she did till she made a proper criticism to the police is one thing to which you’ll want to give cautious consideration.
‘Is it or might it’s as a result of she is anxious to safe a legal conviction earlier than pursuing a civil declare for damages, or are you able to ensure that that is merely a case of her lastly being emboldened to return ahead?
‘Her repeated refusal to offer the police entry to varied materials corresponding to her therapist’s data is perhaps as a result of she had one thing to cover as has been prompt to you by the protection or is perhaps nothing greater than a professional need to guard her privateness and forestall strangers from trying by irrelevant private materials.
‘This case isn’t simple and instances of this sort are by no means. The problems are basic ones for a jury as they’re one individual’s phrase in opposition to one other with no supporting witnesses to assist the account.
‘That doesn’t imply she isn’t telling the reality. That does not imply which you could’t convict on her phrase and her phrase alone.
‘In case you are certain she has advised you the reality it will be your responsibility to convict.’