Man cleared of rape, but could still face jail

PUBLISHED: 11:35 09 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:06 09 March 2016

Archant

An East Devon man has been cleared of raping a drunken, underage, teenage girl after telling a jury she was a willing participant in sex.

But Kevin Briggs is still facing a possible jail sentence for having underage sex with the schoolgirl.

Exeter Crown Court heard how the defendant had been drinking with the girl.

Briggs, 32, of Silverton Rise, Feniton, denied rape and was found not guilty.

At the start of the trial he admitted sexual activity with a child.

During a week-long trial, the prosecution alleged the girl was too drunk to give meaningful consent when she had sex with Briggs.

The prosecution said she was barely conscious and Briggs took advantage of her drunkenness and vulnerability.

But Briggs told the jury the girl was sober enough to know what she was doing.

“We were both merry, nothing more than merry,” he said.

“She could walk and talk and was not stumbling. She kissed me on the mouth. I did not expect it.

“She knew what she was doing. She said that no-one must find out about this.”

Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, adjourned his sentence for a week because Briggs, who used to live in Sidmouth and Exeter, had refused to leave his cell and was not present at the court for the verdict.

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