Suspended police recruit not guilty of attack on prostitute

A suspended police recruit was today found not guilty of choking a Christchurch prostitute into unconsciousness and sexually violating her.

A jury of eight women and four men took just under four hours to reach a decision on the seventh day of the 33-year-old recruit's trial.

The man, who was granted permanent name suppression following the verdict, denied charges of wounding prostitute Jaqueline Howat with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, sexually violating her, and an alternative charge of assaulting her with intent to commit sexual violation.

He was acquitted on all charges.

He admitted picking up Ms Howat in Christchurch's Manchester St red light district early on March 15, 2003, but adamantly denied attacking her.

Fingerprints taken during a training exercise at the Police College in Porirua in September 2005 were alleged to have linked the recruit to the attack.


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