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Man filmed himself using sex toy on woman cleared of rape Man filmed himself using sex toy on woman cleared of rape
  • Engineer James Snape was charged with a series of sex attacks on two women
  • One woman had claimed the 39-year-old father-of-two put Viagra in her tea
  • He said the allegations amounted to 'mud slinging' trying to 'blacken' his name

James Snape had been accused of carrying out sex attacks on two women

James Snape had been accused of carrying out sex attacks on two women

A company boss who filmed himself using a sex toy on a woman while he had sex with her has been cleared by a jury of rape after a two-week trial.

Mechanical engineer James Snape, 39, spent three years denying claims he had assaulted two women, one of whom claimed he had put Viagra in her tea..

As he was cleared of rape, the father-of-two said the culmination of his trial was 'the end of three years of misery' which had seen his accusers 'try to blacken his name'. 

A jury of seven men and five women took six hours to find Mr Snape not guilty of five charges of rape, four charges of sexual assault and one charge of assault by penetration.   

He was supported by his mother and girlfriend at Hull Crown Court and after the verdict, Judge David Tremberg agreed to award him costs. 

Mr Snape funded some £60,000 fight to defend the charges himself. The women were not in court to hear the verdicts. 

In a rare step, he did not enter the witness box to give evidence. Prosecutors said it prevented cross-examination about why he had Viagra in his wallet - for which he had no medical need.

Snape from Goole in East Yorkshire, told police he had never used Viagra or given it to either woman.

He said he had it only after being told by a friend 'what it could do.'

He was also found with a 10-second video clip on his phone of him using a sex toy on one woman. The jury had to decide if the clip showed her consenting as Mr Snape insisted.

In police interview Mr Snape laughed off one rape allegation which came on the eve of a trial, and labelled all the claims 'preposterous'.

Speaking outside court Mr Snape said: 'It is the end of three years of misery. The truth has come out. This has cost me £60,000 and has damaged my business. 

'I knew from the very start I was innocent. The people of Goole have supported me. I have had no malice from them. The case was based on malicious lies - it was unbelievable.'

In the course of the trial prosecutor Charlotte Baines had accused Mr Snape of having a 'complete disregard for sexual boundaries and being controlling'. 

In the trial, she said he had a propensity to use drink and Viagra to get his victims to comply with his sexual demands.

Following his arrest for rape, Mr Snape said he had never had sex against anyone's will and never spiked drinks. 

He said the women who alleged four rapes consented, initially denied it was him in the clip and said it was sent to make him jealous.

Defence barrister William Harbage, QC, said one woman had made no complaint at the time and had acted 'like a woman scorned.' 

He said she was a 'staggeringly devious' character who had set out to cause trouble and lied to the police and said the second woman's claim of being raped on the bonnet of a car was'utterly implausible.'

He said the final rape claim had been made on the eve of a scheduled trial and there was no rational explanation for her not telling the police before, and said the complaints to police had come in dribs and drabs which amounted to 'mud slinging' to 'blacken' his name.

Mr Harbage added Mr Snape had discussed his sexual fetish with the woman 'telling her she was loving it' and she made no complaint until police approached her.

He said the prosecution's case depended on the credibility of the women, one who lied to police about the extent of her sexual photography with Snape and the other who had mental health issues before he met her.


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Larry Whyte
Larry Whyte

He is a leading authority on business trends including ‘big data’, self-employment and the social media revolution. He’s the author of the award-winning book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. He has spoken about global mega trends, big data and the social media revolution at conferences and business events around the world .

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