Jury told to acquit fairground worker

Northampton Crown Court
Northampton Crown Court

A FAIRGROUND worker has been acquitted of trying to rape an 18-year-old woman at a fair in Towcester.

Benjamin Howe, aged 28, was cleared of attempted rape and assault by penetration when the prosecution offered no evidence against him.

He was on trial at Northampton Crown Court last week but when one of the two main witnesses gave conflicting evidence to what she originally told the police, the case was dropped.

Mary Loram, prosecuting, said to continue would put the jury in “an impossible position.”

She added: “It is not unusual for witnesses to give evidence not in accordance with what they have told the police.”

Mr Howe, of Cissbury Road, Briar Hill, Northampton, was employed as fairground assistant in July when he allegedly attacked the teenager, who cannot be named, after meeting her while working on the Waltzers ride.

Once the prosecution offered no evidence due to the discrepancies in evidence, Judge Lynn Tayton QC directed the jury to unanimously acquit him of both charges.